Thursday, November 29, 2012

Creamy Chickpeas with Broken Pasta

This is such a delicious soup. It may sound bland and flavorless, but it's anything but. The only thing I did differently was to use vegetable broth instead of plain water. Serve with bread as this is a soup that calls out for dunking. If you leave off the cheese as a garnish, then the soup is vegan.

The recipe is from Cooking with Italian Grandmothers.

Creamy Chickpeas with Broken Pasta
1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8-10 cups of water
1 medium yellow potato, peeled and finely diced
3 bay leaves
8 cloves garlic, divided
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons tiny pasta or well broken cappellini pasta
chopped parsley, cracked black pepper, grated Parmesan, and olive oil to garnish

Sort the chickpeas for rocks, rinse them well, and soak them for 12 to 24 hours with the 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

Drain the chickpeas, and place them in a large pot with the water, diced potatoes, bay leaves, and 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic. Put on a lid, slightly ajar, and bring to a strong simmer. Scrape off and remove any bean scum that rises to the surface of the pot. Simmer the chickpeas until they are tender but not mushy, about an hour. Add the salt to the pot.

While the beans are cooking, peel and finely mince the remaining 4 cloves of garlic. In a small saute pan, cook the garlic in the olive oil until lightly golden brown. Add the garlic and oil to the simmering beans. You can do this at any stage of the beans' cooking.

Remove the bay leaves and whole, unpeeled garlic cloves from the pot. Discard the bay leaves, and squeeze the garlic from the cloves; return the soft garlic to the pot. Strain 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked chickpeas from the water, and set them aside. Puree the rest of the soup with a blender or food mill, then return the whole chickpeas to the pot.

Bring the soup back up to a simmer, and add the pasta. Simmer for the length of time specified on the pasta package, making sure to stir the soup frequently throughout the cooking; the pasta will tend to stick to the bottom of the pot.

Taste for salt, adding more if you like. Serve garnished with chopped parsley, black pepper, grated Parmesan, and a generous drizzle of olive oil.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really good, and I'd definitely keep the cheese on top! Great idea to use veggie broth instead of water - I keep veggie broth cubes on hand and like to toss them in to add some flavor to things.