December 3, 2012

Chickpea and Tomato Soup

I love chickpeas, and in winter I love having soup for lunch, so this recipe from the inimitable Marcela Hazan, in her cookbook Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, has become one of my favorites. It is a very simple recipe, yielding a savory soup full of surprising flavor, almost a stew rather than a soup. I use chick peas that I've cooked using dried beans since I like the flavor and texture better than canned, but Hazan says that canned chickpeas work fine for this recipe.My home canned tomatoes are especially delicious, so I'd recommend a good quality canned tomato for this; the olive oil must also be excellent since so much of the flavor comes from the abundant oil. I usually double the recipe, which is supposed to be for 4 to 6 servings, but it would only give me 3.

4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teas dried rosemary crushed fine, almost to a powder, or a small sprig of fresh rosemary
2/3 cup canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
2 1/4 cup chickpeas
1 cup meat broth (I use water, or the broth left over from cooking the chick peas), or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in a cup of water

  1. Put the garlic and olive oil in a pot large enough for all the ingredients. Saute the garlic at medium heat until they turn a nut brown all over, then remove them. (I squish the garlic a little to release some of its juices.)
  2. Add the rosemary, then the tomatoes and their juice. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the oil separates.
  3. Add the chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring well.
  4. Add the broth and cook at a lively simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add salt to taste, and a few grindings of pepper, cook for another minute, and serve.


  1. I'm going to try your recipe today - it sounds delicious, thank you for the post.

  2. It's cooking right now. It's deceptively simple, and actually very rich. I disliked not using the garlic cloves, so I put them back in. Thanks.

  3. I'm going to try this recipe really soon. Thanks. Always great to come across easy yummy winter soups.

  4. It's nice to know that people actually try my recipes, and even like them! As Stuart said, it's surprisingly rich. I hope you too like it, Sally.