Chickpea Soup with Bitter Greens is an old recipe from Calabria in Southern Italy. Calabria is the tippy toe of the boot.
This soup has few ingredients but is full of protein and flavor. Be sure to use dried chickpeas so that you get the right texture.
For the bitter greens we used dandelions. They add a pleasantly bitter flavor. If you’re want a milder green, use half of the dandelion greens and substitute the other half with spinach or Swiss chard. You’ll still get plenty of nutrition.
We serve this soup with rosemary croutons. They add a crunchiness and echo the rosemary flavor of the broth.
This recipe takes some time as you have to soak the chickpeas overnight, and the cooking time is more than an hour. The results are worth it though, so add this recipe to your schedule when time permits. Good things come to those who wait.
Mediterranean cooking is all about taking your time and enjoying life. Have a glass of Prosecco while you wait for the chickpeas to soften. That’s what we did.
Chickpea Soup with Bitter Greens and Rosemary Croutons
- 2 cups dried chickpeas soaked overnight and drained
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large shallot sliced (not chopped)
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves finely minced
- 2-3 tsp sea salt used separately
- 1/2 pound dandelion greens
- 2 cups rustic bread chopped into small cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves finely minced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Rinse and drain the chickpeas that you have previously soaked overnight. Put them in a soup pot and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the garlic, shallot and rosemary. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Add the cooled garlic-shallot-rosemary-olive oil mixture to the chickpea pot and season with 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Simmer for 1 hour with lid slightly ajar, checking periodically to keep the water level high enough to cover the chickpeas.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once the water is boiling add remaining sea salt. Add the dandelion greens and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the water and let the greens cool.
- When the greens are cool, squeeze out the excess water and cut into small pieces.
- After the chickpeas have cooked for an hour, stir in the dandelion greens. Check the water level to make sure the chickpeas are still covered. You can season with more salt at this point if you think it needs it.
- Allow soup to simmer for another 15 minutes to blend all of the flavors.
- Serve with homemade rosemary croutons or rustic Italian bread.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, rosemary and salt.
- Spread the bread cubes evenly onto a baking sheet covered in parchment.
- Bake for 20 minutes (or until dried and crispy)
- Let croutons cool before serving with the soup.