Minestra di Ceci all’Antica Marchigiana (Chickpea and Escarole Soup)
Author:Michele M. Becci
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 or 4 large pork ribs, separated (about ½ to ¾ pound)
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 quart chicken stock
1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (15 ½ ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head of escarole, washed and trimmed
Extra virgin olive oil
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the pork ribs. Sauté until lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the ribs from the pot. Set aside. Add in the onion, celery and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add in the tomato paste and sauté until thickened a bit. Add the stock and tomatoes and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the ribs back into the pot. Cover pot and simmer for 1 hour.
Increase the heat to medium. Add the chickpeas and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Cut the escarole into large pieces and add to the pot. Simmer until wilted, about 3-5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes. Ladle into heated bowls. Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with crusty bread and pass the Parmigiano!