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Chickpea and Escarole Soup |

Chickpea and Escarole Soup


This simple yet deeply flavorful soup only takes 30 minutes but delivers a delicious soul-warming combination of chickpeas and greens. 



For the chickpeas (if using dried):

  • 1-pound dried chickpeas
  • ½ large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the soup: 

  • 1 large head escarole
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups cooked chickpeas (from 1 pound dried or 3 (15-ounce) cans)
  • 8 cups cooking liquid –
    • If using dried chickpeas: a combination of chickpea cooking liquid and water or stock (chicken or vegetable) 
    • If using canned chickpeas: 8 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
  • Black pepper

To serve:

  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Crusty bread, toasted 


  1. Cook the chickpeas (if using dried): If time permits and for a shorter cook time, soak the dried chickpeas overnight. Place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl. Cover with at least 3 inches of water and allow to sit overnight. Drain the chickpeas. Put the chickpeas, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and salt into a large pot. Cover the chickpeas with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover but leave lid ajar. Cook until the chickpeas are soft and tender, about 60 to 90 minutes. (Time will vary depending on whether you had time to soak the chickpeas overnight.) Add additional water if needed to keep the chickpeas covered. 
  2. Make the soup: Roughly chop the escarole. Place in a colander and rinse. 
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in the onion, garlic, a large pinch of salt, and a large pinch of red pepper flakes.  Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Add in the rinsed escarole. (No need to dry the escarole.) Allow the escarole to cook down for a minute or two then stir to combine. 
  5. Stir in the cooked chickpeas. If you used dried chickpeas, add in the chickpea cooking liquid plus additional water or stock to make 8 cups of liquid. If using canned chickpeas, add 8 cups of stock. Add the Parmigiano rind, if using. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste. Adjust salt and black pepper as needed.
  6. To serve, remove the rind. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with plenty of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and toasted bread.