Creamy chickpea soup

Creamy chickpea soup

Vellutata di ceci

By
From
Florentine
Serves
4
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

Simply flavoured and served with grilled bread rubbed with just a hint of garlic, this is a homely and frugal but satisfying soup. Much like any other legume dish, you will get best results if you use dried chickpeas cooked yourself – I highly recommend to do it this way. But if you want to make this for a quick weeknight dinner, in a pinch, good quality, pre-cooked, tinned chickpeas will do.

For a few variations to this easy dish, some like to leave about a quarter of the chickpeas whole, for added texture, or add fresh or dried chilli for some heat. To make it a more substantial dish, although not traditionally Florentine (you are more likely to find this on the coast), it is wonderful topped with some baby calamari or baby octopus, flash-seared on a grill, or some steamed vongole clams, dressed with some olive oil, chopped parsley and fresh lemon wedges.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g dried chickpeas
or 600g tinned chickpeas, drained, (see note)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, whole
3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
4 slices ciabatta or country bread, grilled or toasted, to serve

Method

  1. Rinse the dried chickpeas and soak in a large bowl of cold water for 12 hours, then drain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a deep stockpot over a low heat. Gently infuse the oil with two of the garlic cloves and rosemary for a few minutes. Add the soaked chickpeas, season with salt and pepper and add water to cover. Use about 1 litre water to begin with, top up with water as necessary during cooking, and use up to 2 litres total. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for 2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender.
  3. Blend the soup until very smooth and creamy. If it is too thick, add a little water. Serve the soup with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and the slices of grilled bread, rubbed lightly with the remaining garlic clove.

Note

  • If using tinned chickpeas, the steps and timing are drastically reduced. Follow the step for infusing the oil with garlic and rosemary. Add the drained chickpeas, season with salt and pepper and add water to cover (about 500 ml) and simply bring to the boil, covered. Since the tinned chickpeas are already cooked, from here you simply remove from the heat, blend the soup until smooth and follow the rest of the recipe for serving.
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