Chickpea soup

2¼ cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lb/450 g Swiss chard, trimmed and finely sliced
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
14 oz/400 g canned
chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
slices of toasted bread, to serve


1. Drain the chickpeas and place in a large saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1–1¼ hours, until tender, topping off with water, if necessary.
2. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking water. Season the chickpeas well with salt and pepper. Place two-thirds in a food processor or blender with some of the reserved cooking water and process until smooth, adding more of the cooking water, if necessary, to achieve a soup consistency. Return to the saucepan.
3. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 3–4 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the Swiss chard and rosemary and cook for 3–4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the remaining chickpeas and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have broken down to an almost smooth sauce. Remove the rosemary sprigs.
4. Add the Swiss chard and tomato mixture to the chickpea puree and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve with slices of toasted bread.

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