Chickpea and pasta soup

Chickpea and pasta soup

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
4-6

This soup from Italy is both filling and nutritious. The pancetta (or bacon) and parsley give a rich and fresh flavour. Pancetta is available at specialty Italian delicatessens.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
375g tinned chickpeas, drained
1.5 litres chicken or beef stock
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
310g ditalini or small pasta shells
parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
2-3 slices pancetta
or 2-3 rashers streaky bacon, rind removed, finely chopped

Method

  1. Place chickpeas and stock in a saucepan and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Spoon out about half the chickpeas and reduce to a purée with a little of the stock – use a food processor, blender or food mill. Return purée to pan.
  2. Fry pancetta or bacon in oil with garlic and parsley until cooked. Add this mixture (known as the soffrito) to chickpea mixture and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add pasta and cook until tender. The soup will thicken considerably during this last cooking. Serve with cheese sprinkled over.
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