Passato di Ceci- Pureed Chickpea soup
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound pancetta cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 lrg onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 lrg or 2 sm carrots, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed & divided
- 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
- kosher salt
- 1 pound chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 bundle fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 quart water
- 3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- 5-6 (1/2 inch) slice country style bread cut into cubes
Our thyme plant was looking a little bleak, so I chose to omit the fresh thyme bundle. I also did not cook the bread cubes in the oil but added rosemary to soup mixture. I also used more carrots. To puree I used my trustee imersion blender, and while I did miss a few chickpeas it was nice to have an occasional pea in the bowl. This soup is delicious and very filling!
- Coat a large pot with olive oil, add the pancetta & bring to medium heat. When pancetta starts to become crispy, add the onion, carrots, celery, 3cloves of garlic, pinch of crushed red pepper & season lightly with salt. Sweat the veg. for 6 - 7 minutes or til they become very aromatic & start to soften.
- Drain the water from the soaked chuickpeas, rinse & add to pot. Add the chicken stock, thyme bundle, bay leaves & 1 quart of water. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer til the chickpeas are very soft & falling apart, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Turnoff heat, season the water with salt and let it sit for 15 -20 minutes.
- Fill a skillet with olive oil til it is about 1/2 inch deep & add the remaining 3 garlic cloves, the rosemary leaves & a pinch of crushed red pepper & bring it to a medium heat. Remove the garlic once it is golden . Add the bread cubes & cook til they start to become crispy & golden. Season with salt & remove the croutons from the oil to a bowl, reserving the rosemary oil.
- Add the infused oil to the soup. Puree in a food processor. Season to taste. If too thick, cook more to reduce or thin it by adding water.
- Serve with croutons & drizzle with infused oil.
Recipe Courtesy of Anne Burell-foodnetwork.com