Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, these little legumes pack a nutritional punch. They are low in fat and are an excellent source of nutrients, fiber and protein. Besides being healthy, this recipe is quick and easy to prepare and makes a perfect Lenten meal. This thick and seemingly rich soup is very satisfying, especially topped off with a drizzle of a good robust extra-virgin.
- 1 small loaf rustic bread
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- course sea salt
- several sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- robust extra-virgin for drizzle on top
- Slice the bread into small cubes (you’ll need about 3 cups).
- Using a medium-size bowl, toss the bread cubes with the 4 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese until cubes are coated with deliciousness. Sprinkle with a bit of salt (remember Parmesan is salty so taste a cube first).
- Place the cubes on a baking sheet, throw on a few sprigs of rosemary and bake at 350* until cubes are golden brown (about 15 minutes). Let cool, discard rosemary sprigs.
- In a medium-size saucepan, heat the garlic and 2 or 3 fresh sprigs of rosemary(whole, you’ll remove them later) in 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (you’ll need 1 more tablespoon for the next step).
- Using a food processor, pulse the chickpeas to a paste. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the vegetable broth (1 cup at a time). Blend until you get the desired smooth consistency.
- Carefully remove the rosemary sprigs from the heated oil, pour the pureed chickpeas into the saucepan, stirring well. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if necessary. Simmer for 10 minutes or so.
- To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls, add croutons and drizzle with a robust extra virgin.