Garbanzo bean soup – Zuppa di ceci

This is a vegetarian, cupboard soup…. Since the celery is used in a soup it is a particularly good way to use up the celery in your fridge which has gone limp. I like to use dried garbanzos which adds a little foresight to the project as they need to be soaked the previous night, but canned beans can be substituted. The would need to be rinsed and water added when mashed.

The recipe caught my eye in a cookbook about Mediterranean cooking and it has been one of my standbys for years.

 Ingredients: 

  1. 1 cups garbanzo beans
  2. 3  tablespoons of olive oil
  3. 3-4  stalks celery, with leaves
  4. a   sprig of rosemary
  5. 6-7 sage leaves
  6. 4  garlic cloves
  7. 1 14 oz can of whole tomatoes
  8. juice of a lemon

zuppa di cecci_0

Directions:

  1. Soak the beans overnight in 3 cups of water.  Rinse several times the next day.  You should have 2 cups of chickpeas.
  2. Place in a pan with water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for about 1 ½ hours.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the celery, rosemary, sage, and garlic.  Chop up the canned tomatoes.
  4. When the peas are soft, drain and reserve liquid.  Take half of the peas and purée them in a food processor.  Set aside.
  5. Heat the oil in a soup pot and add celery and herbs.  Add garlic.  When the garlic becomes aromatic add the tomatoes.
  6. Add both the puréed and the whole chickpeas along with the reserved water the peas were cooked in.
  7. Cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the lemon juice and serve.  Garnish with added sage leaves.

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