Easing back into the flow and with one foot–so to speak–still in Italy, I go to my comfort zone for guidance and authenticity.
Marcella Hazan’s first cookbook–still usable, though much patched-up and thumbed.
She doesn’t purée this nourishing and warming soup–though some do, she says.
I’ll go with roughly 1/4 whole chickpeas to 3/4 puréed.
I’ve also added a hint of fire! A couple of small dry red chilis left in the cooking tomatoes for five minutes and then fished out; or leave them in–but careful you don’t swallow them later.
I’ve used twice the liquid she suggests. Italians like to eat their soup almost solid.
3 garlic cloves–peeled but left whole
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp rosemary needles–chopped fine
8oz/200gm tinned (canned) tomatoes–chopped with the juice
14oz/400gm can cooked chickpeas–drained
450ml/1 pint stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes
salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the garlic until it is well browned.
- Take it out; it’s job–infusing the oil–is done.
- Throw in the rosemary and stir once, then add the tomatoes with their juice.
- Cook these down to a sauce–about 20 minutes, stirring often to avoid it burning.
- Add the chickpeas and stir these around for five minutes to inform them with the tomato sauce.
- Add three-quarters of the stock and stir it in.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan and cook for fifteen minutes.
- Take off the lid, stir well and taste for salt.
- Add more stock if you like.
- Serve it piping hot with a swirl of best olive oil.