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Zuppa di Ceci (Creamy Chickpea Soup)

Creamy Chickpea Soup

This tasty recipe is a typical “peasant” soup from the Umbria region of Italy. The perfect companion on a chilly night.

Serves 6


1 pound dried chickpeas
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium onion peeled and diced
1 or 2 celery stalks, diced
4 tablespoons chopped pancetta (optional)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
A handful of chopped parsley
4 cups of vegetable broth made from scratch
Sea salt and pepper to taste


Soak the dried beans overnight in a bowl covered with water.

Drain the beans and place in a soup pot and cover with fresh water.

Bring to a boil, then decrease to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender ~ 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and leave in a colander while you prepare the broth.

Using the same soup pot that you used for the beans heat the extra virgin olive oil and then add the pancetta (optional), carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are golden and the pancetta pieces are lightly browned.

Take 1 ½ cups of chickpeas and set aside.

Add the rest of the chickpeas to the pot with the vegetables and cover with broth until everything is covered in 1 inch of broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and slowly simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Season with sea salt and pepper.

Puree the soup until thick and smooth, adding additional broth as needed.

Return the soup to the heat and stir in the chickpeas you set aside earlier.

Serve in individual bowls topped with some cracked black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Sprinkle with the crispy pancetta bits (if desired) and top with a sprig of rosemary and serve.


Recipe courtesy of GialloZafferano