Last weekend, The Huz and I were invited to an elegant dinner party in Connecticut. After a champagne toast and several crisps with brie, we convened in the dining room and were met with a feast fit for a king. While the entire meal was perfection from start to finish, I was most impressed with the soup course. So much so that I begged our gracious hostess for the recipe and she kindly obliged. With that, I present to you one of the simplest and most savor soups I’ve had in years. And what do you know, it’s also vegan!
Pasta and Chickpea Rosemary Soup
1 lb. dried chickpeas (do not use canned chickpeas for this recipe!)
1 lb. white, whole wheat or other grain pasta, preferably shells or orecchiette
1 heaping Tablespoon baking soda
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (more to taste)
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1. Place chickpeas in bowl or pot and cover with water to at least 2 inches above chickpeas. Stir in baking soda. Soak at least 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Rinse chickpeas and place in large soup pot with enough water to cover and become soup broth. (I used enough to cover, plus another 4-5 cups, but this depends on your taste. If you want more of a stew, use less water. For more of a soup, add more water. You can also add more while cooking if desired.)
3. Boil chickpeas on high heat, skimming froth from surface as required. Check occasionally for doneness (should be soft) and foam should stop appearing.
6. When chickpeas are done, add pasta and seasoned olive oil (with garlic and herbs) to soup pot. Stir to heat evenly and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired and serve with fresh crusty bread.