Friday, April 2, 2010

Pasta & Chickpea Soup

Soup is one of our favorite courses. They come sweet or savory, hot or cold, with or without meat, as an appetizer, a single course or main course. The options and combinations are endless. This is why we love soup. As I was recently flipping through one of my cookbooks; The Italian Cooking Encyclopedia there was a very interesting, main course with meat soup. We love it so now I must share.
The ingredients are simple here's how it goes:
1 cup dried Chickpeas
3 cloves Garlic, peeled
1 Bay Leaf
6 tbd Olive Oil
pinch of Pepper
1/4 cup Bacon, diced
1/2 cup Ham, diced
2 1/2 cups water or Chicken broth
2 cups Pasta, small
1.- Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Rinse well and drain. Place the chickpeas in a large saucepan with water to cover. Boil for 15 min.
2.- Return the chickpeas to the pan. Add broth or water to cover, 1 garlic clove, the bay leaf, 3 tbs olive oil, and the pepper.
3.- Simmer until tender, about 2 hrs, adding more water as needed. Remove the bay leaf. Pass about 1/2 of the chickpeas through a food mill or food processor with a few tablespoons of the liquid. Return the puree to the pan with the liquid and remaining chickpeas.
4.- Saute the bacon, ham and garlic in the remeiaing oil just until the meat starts to carmelize and the garlic is golden. Discard the garlic.
5.- Stir the meat mixture into the chickpea mixture.
6.- Add more liquid (broth or water) for desired thickness, and bring to a boil. Add cooked pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.
I have made this soup now several times.I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

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