Recipe Tip: Chickpea and Chestnut Soup
Top Recipe for 4 Persons. All ingredients and tips for getting it right. Southern Italians are hopelessly addicted to chestnuts. In autumn and winter, cooks pay homage to them with soups such as this hearty, warming bowlful.
- 300 gdried chickpeas
- 1 lwater
- 700 gchestnuts (fresh or already cooked)
- 2bay leaves
- 1 tablespoonfennel seeds
- 100 gpancetta, cubed
- 2 teaspoon(s)olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 2garlic cloves, sliced
- 1large onion, chopped
- black pepper
- handfulchopped parsley, to serve
Step 1Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of water, then rinse well. Bring 1 litre of water to a boil, add the chickpeas and cook until soft, about 45 minutes.
Step 2While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the chestnuts. If using fresh chestnuts, cut the chestnuts on one side with a sharp knife. Put in a pan with water to cover, add the bay leaves and fennel seeds, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain, leave to cool slightly, peel and roughly chop or crumble.
Step 3If using pre-cooked chestnuts, bring them to the boil briefly with the spices, leave off the heat for 30 minutes, then roughly chop or crumble.
Step 4Fry the pancetta in a pan large enough for the soup in the olive oil over a low heat until crispy. Lift out and set aside for later.
Step 5Add the garlic and onion and sauté both until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chestnuts and fry briefly, then add the chickpeas and their cooking liquid.
Step 6Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the soup becomes creamy. Add the pancetta.
Step 7Before serving, season each plate with a drizzle of olive oil and extra pepper and garnish with a little parsley, if desired. Enjoy with toasted bread.
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