Minestra de Ceci
(Italian chickpea and pasta soup)
Minestra di ceci is a simple and nourishing soup from the Tuscan region of Italy. It goes together quickly and is great for a rainy day. Serve it with a nice chunk of crusty bread for a full meal.
4 to 6 servings
- Chickpeas, cooked and rinsed -- 2 cups
- Stock or water -- 5 cups
- Olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Fresh rosemary, chopped -- 1 small sprig
- Garlic, minced -- 2-3 cloves
- Tomatoes, chopped -- 1 cup
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Soup pasta (see variations) -- 1/2 cup
- Puree half the chickpeas with 1 cup of the stock or water in a blender or food processor. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium flame. Add the garlic and rosemary and saute until the garlic just begins to brown.
- Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining stock, the chickpea puree and the remaining whole chickpeas. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Add the pasta and bring to a light boil until the pasta is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.
Minestra di Ceci Variations
- Pasta: Use any small pasta for this soup: orzo, macaroni, shells. Or break spaghetti or capellini into small pieces.
- Vegetables: Stir in 2 cups chopped fresh spinach or chard in the last 5 minutes if you like.