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)
- Saute garlic and rosemary, and a big pinch of salt. Cook until the garlic is softened and golden.
- 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
- Add the chickpeas, stir well and simmer 10 minutes
- Add broth and simmer for at least 15 minutes. For extra flavor, throw in a small piece of parmegiano reggiano rind.
- 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.
- Adjust the seasoning and enjoy with a piece of crusty french bread.
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