Seasonal Recipes

Chickpea and Seasonal Greens Soup

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups (300 grams) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (see note)
3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
Juice of 1/2 a lemon 2 dried red chilies
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
3 rosemary sprigs 
2 (12-ounce/260-gram) cans good-quality peeled plum tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart (1 liter) good-quality chicken stock (water or vegetable broth will also work)
About 6 stalks (10 ounces/300 grams) Swiss chard
2 slices of day-old, chewy, peasant-style bread, crusts removed
3 to 3 3/4 ounces (90 to 100 grams) Parmesan, freshly grated 

METHOD

Drain the chickpeas, rinse and place in a large heavy pan. Cover generously with cold water, but don’t season. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn down the heat. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours, or until the chickpeas are soft, skimming away any scum from the surface every now and then. Drain and dress with 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters olive oil and the lemon juice.

While the chickpeas are cooking, warm 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters olive oil in a separate pan over medium heat. Crumble in the chilies and add the garlic and rosemary. Cook for a minute or so to release the flavors, then add the tomatoes and stir well to break them up, adding a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, then pour in the stock and cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, add the cooked chickpeas and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprigs.

Toward the end of the cooking time, prepare the chard. Wash and pat dry, then strip the leaves from the pale central stalk using a small sharp knife and set aside. Trim the stalks and cut into 1/2-inch (1.3-centimeter) chunks. Add these to a pan of well-salted boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, then add the soft green outer leaves and cook for another minute. Drain.

Break the bread into small pieces and stir into the soup along with 3 ounces/90 grams of Parmesan, turning the heat to low. Add the chard and a drizzle of olive oil. The soup should be deeply flavorful and thick. Add a little more Parmesan and/or olive oil if needed. Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve.

Note: If presoaking beans is beyond your usual level of organization (like me), there is an alternative. Rinse the beans, place them in a pan and cover with cold water, then bring to a boil. Drain, return to the pan and cover a second time with cold water, then cook as if the beans have been presoaked.

Serves 4

Source : Skye Gyngell for Kinfolk