Chickpea and Chestnut Soup

Zuppa di ceci e castagne

LAZIO

Serves 6

This soup is traditionally served on Christmas Eve.

300g (12 oz.) dried chestnuts or use dried or frozen chestnuts if you can get them

300g (12 oz.) chickpeas

Extra virgin olive oil

300g (12 oz.) tomatoes pulp

2 sticks of celery sliced

3 sprigs of rosemary

6 slices of bread

2 cloves of garlic

1 chili

Method

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in lightly salted water. Boil the chestnuts for 20 – 30 minutes so that you can peel them easily.
  2. Partly cook the chickpeas in boiling water with a sprig of rosemary.  In another saucepan gently fry the celery, garlic, chili and another small bunch of rosemary.  When the celery has softened, add the tomato pulp and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the cooked chestnuts and after a few minutes add this to the pan with the chickpeas.  Continue to cook until the chickpeas are soft (this depends on the type of chickpea.  Italian chickpeas cook quickly so will only need about 40-50 minutes total cooking).
  4. At this stage purée about a third of the chickpeas and chestnuts to give a thick consistency to the soup.

When you are ready to serve, place a slice of dry Italian bread in the base of each soup bowl and pour over the soup.  Drizzle olive oil over the top of each bowl.  You can also sprinkle with a little freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

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