Warm Yourself Up on a Chilly December Day: Chickpea and Rosemary Soup

Growing up, my family fell into an informal tradition of soup night once a week. There would be a big pot of my dad’s soup going on the stove and a spread of bread, cheese and cold cuts and usually a crisp green salad of some sort. I looked forward to these meals in my parent’s cozy kitchen almost more than any other. My dad is quite a good soup maker, he never uses a recipe and is able to coax out an impossible amount of flavor from the ingredients at hand. Watching him at the soup pot brings Mr. Miyagi to mind, so I guess that makes me the karate kid?

This soup is just about the perfect thing you can eat with a nice piece of crusty bread on a chilly December day (hey it actually dipped below 50 degrees here this week!). It’s savory with tomatoes and garlic, herb-y from the rosemary and has just a touch of chickpea sweetness. My little ones don’t favor terribly chunky soups, so these days I puree about third of the soup then return it to the pot, and might even mash some of the remaining whole chickpeas in their bowls. Give it a try, it’s one of our all time favorites.

Chickpea and Rosemary Soup

(adapted from the recipe in Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”)

  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • leaves from two sprigs of rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1 – 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans chickpeas
  • 1 quart chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth if you want to keep it vegetarian)
  • Salt to taste
  • small piece of Parmegiano Reggiano rind (optional)
  1. Saute garlic and rosemary, and a big pinch of salt. Cook until the garlic is softened and golden.
  2. Add the tomatoes (breaking them up a bit more with the back of a spoon). Stir well and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes
  3. Add the chickpeas, stir well and simmer 10 minutes
  4. Add broth and simmer for at least 15 minutes. For extra flavor, throw in a small piece of parmegiano reggiano rind.
  5. Remove the cheese rind and discard. Ladle about a third of the soup into a blender or food processor. (Beware of pureeing hot food because it can spray out, so let it cool before proceeding). Puree and return it to the pot, stirring well.
  6. Adjust the seasoning and enjoy with a piece of crusty french bread.

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9 thoughts on “Warm Yourself Up on a Chilly December Day: Chickpea and Rosemary Soup

  1. I never knew about this soup tradition but it warms my heart to think of your family in your folks’ wonderful and cozy kitchen. And love to think of you doing the same with your family now!

  2. Gave this soup a shot. Modified the recipe a bit for our tastes (went low sodium veggie broth, cooked the chickpeas separately, added some lemon juice, added basil, added black pepper, blended 1/2 the chickpeas into the stock fully to make more of a chowder consistency). My wife thought it was one of the best meals I’ve made for her. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Pingback: Warm Yourself Up on a Chilly December Day: Chickpea and Rosemary Soup | parentsnewz

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