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Chick Pea Soup

The picture above definitely doesn’t do justice to this soup. I stumbled upon this recipe when I attended a gathering of “mothers of twins plus one” a couple of years ago. The meeting was at an apartment on Riverside Drive in the 90s and it was gorgeous! At one point I walked into the kitchen, being drawn in by a wonderful aroma and saw a cookbook open and some pots simmering on the stove. I was surprised to see that I actually owned the cookbook, but had yet to crack the binding (I have a lot of those). I was told that I really should open the book and the first thing I should make is Chick Pea Soup. As soon as I got home that night, I found the recipe and decided to make it the next day.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan can often be found on lists like “The 10 Cookbooks That You Must Own”. Although I haven’t tried many recipes from it yet, I plan to. The next one I try is going to be a variation on the Chick Pea Soup that includes rice.

This soup has a fair amount of olive oil in it, and it makes the soup seem very buttery which I like. You can cut down on the oil a tiny bit if you’d like to. When you make this soup, your home will smell wonderful as the olive oil is infused with the garlic.

Chick Pea Soup
From Essentials of Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves, crushed fine almost to a powder, or a small sprig of fresh rosemary
2/3 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
3/4 cup dried chick peas, soaked and cooked, or 2 1/4 cups canned chick peas, drained
1 cup homemade meat broth or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup water
Salt
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill

1. Put the garlic and olive oil in a pot that can subsequently accommodate all of the ingredients and turn on the heat to medium. Sauté the garlic cloves until they turn a light nut brown then remove them from the pan.

2. Add the crushed rosemary leaves or the fresh sprig, stir, then put in the cut-up tomatoes with their juice. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the oil floats free from the tomatoes.

3. Add the drained cooked or canned chick peas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring them thoroughly with the juices in the pan.

4. Add the broth or the dissolved bouillon cube, cover, and adjust heat so that the soup bubbles at a steady, but moderate boil for 15 minutes.

5. Taste and correct for salt. Add a few grindings of pepper. Let the soup bubble uncovered for another minute, then serve promptly.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings (Diane’s note: In my opinion, this serves 2 and maybe 4 if you make the servings small.)