Tuscan Chickpea Soup

It’s looking like it’s going to be a week of leftovers for lunch. And it’s starting with the Tuscan chickpea soup I made last night.

After we got home from Portugal, I went a little crazy at the grocery store because our refrigerator and pantry were so barren. Now, everything is stuffed to the limit—a good problem to have—but I’m also a bit stressed about cooking all the meats and vegetables before they go bad. My plan is to cook large batches of dinner and send the leftovers for lunch the next day. It really is the easiest solution. That way, I don’t have to think about lunch.

Years and years ago, I found the recipe for a Tuscan chickpea soup in the October 2001 issue of Cooking Light. It is a simple recipe that yields great results. Plus, it freezes really well. I will admit, it’s nothing exciting, but that seems to work well for the kids. The recipe calls for water, but over the years I’ve switched to chicken broth to give the soup a bit more richness. I’ve also doubled the amount of tomatoes to give it more flavor. And because I’m always trying to get more kale into our diets, I like to chop up some kale and throw it into the soup as it simmers. If I’m out of kale, I use baby spinach leaves. Since they wilt pretty quickly in the soup, I add them at the last minute. Lastly, I like to serve the soup with grilled chicken or Trader Joe’s chicken-apple sausage. The sausage comes fully cooked in the refrigerated section. I usually warm it on the grill or in a skillet.

Don’t forget to sprinkle the grated parmesan or pecorino over the soup. It makes a big difference!

Tuscan Chickpea Soup (adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients

2 TB olive oil

2 cups finely chopped onion

8 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 tsp. fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 (15 1/2 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes undrained

Chopped kale (optional)

1 -2 TB balsamic vinegar

6 TB grated fresh Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Method

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the broth and the next 6 ingredients (broth through kale, if using), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Place 2 cups in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with 2 cups soup. Return all pureed soup to pan. Stir in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Spoon soup into bowls and sprinkle with grated cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

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One Comment to “Tuscan Chickpea Soup”

  1. Well brava my dear, this photo rocks! My only comment (because, of course, I have to say something) is to turn the spoon over so it’s “right” reading. But honestly, it’s really great and a HUGE improvement from your first posts.

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