Sometimes it’s the simple things in life…..
I needed something quick for lunch yesterday while working from home. With plans to make a chickpea and sausage stew over the weekend, I soaked a big bag of dried cecis (Italian for chickpea) overnight. Well, my little ceci friends grew large enough to feed a small army so with a kitchen full of ceci and a refrigerator full of fresh beef broth, lunch was born. This simple soup hit the spot on a chilly fall day in Pennsylvania. Buon weekend, tutti!
Minestra di Ceci
2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced fine
2 small cloves garlic or 1 large, diced
About 4 cups stock (pick your favorite; use homemade if at all possible but if you can’t, pick a good quality broth)
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Grated Parmigiano (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on top before serving (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté until translucent and soft – about 2-3 minutes. Add in the diced garlic and sauté just until soft – about another minute.
Add the chickpeas to the pot. Add broth until the chickpeas are submerged about 1 inch. Bring the soup to a boil over medium heat then reduce to low and simmer. Allow the soup to simmer until the chickpeas are soft – about 1 hour.
Season with salt and freshly grated black pepper. (If you wish, you can puree some of the chickpeas and add them back into the pot for a thicker soup. You can add additional broth if it becomes too thick.) Add in the juice of the lemon and stir to incorporate.
Serve the soup in warmed bowls. Sprinkle with parmigiano or drizzle with some good quality olive oil. Ta-dah – lunch is served.