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Chickpea Soup - {Zuppa Di Ceci}


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  • 1 pound dried chickpeas
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus extra
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/2 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1/2 stalk celery finely chopped
  • Finely-chopped Italian parsley to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely-chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 pound pork riblets cut 1" segments
  • 1/4 pound pork skin piece (cotena) diced
  • (or 3 oz pancetta, diced)
  • 1 large Swiss chard bunch


Servings 6


Step 1

Soak chickpeas at least 8 hours in abundant cold water to which pinch of baking soda has been added. Transfer soaked chickpeas to pot of tepid water and bring to boil.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat, add garlic, onion, carrot and celery and saute until onion browns, about 5 minutes, to make tritata. Add parsley and rosemary toward end of sauteeing.

When chickpeas come to boil, skim foam off surface with slotted spatula, reduce heat to simmer and cook about 10 minutes. Add tritata to chickpeas, splashing a little cooking water into skillet to make sure every bit can be scraped into pot.

Meanwhile, slowly bring pork riblets and pork skin to boil in separate pan of water to de-fat them slightly. When meat comes to boil, reduce heat and gently simmer about 10 minutes, then add meat to soup pot. Leave soup to simmer until chickpeas are tender (depending on freshness of chickpeas, this can take 1 to 2 1/2 hours).

Soak Swiss chard; wash and cut white stems off at base. Cut chard leaves into fettuccine-wide ribbons. When chickpeas are just tender, add chard and cook 15 more minutes. Serve warm with drizzle of olive oil in each bowl added at table.

This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

Each of 8 servings, without extra olive oil: 391 calories; 114 mg sodium; 25 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams protein; 2.57 grams fiber

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