Italian Chickpea Soup
Serves 6 (about 11 cups)
From: Cuisine At Home Magazine #115
1 C Dry ditalini pasta
3 oz Pancetta, diced
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1½ C Onion, diced
½ C Each, Carrot and celery, diced
2 Tbsp Tomato paste
1 Tbsp Each, Minced garlic, rosemary, sage
1 tsp Anchovy paste
½ tsp Red pepper flakes
½ C Dry white wine
3 C Low-sodium chicken broth
2 Lb Cooked chickpeas
1 Can Diced tomatoes in juice (28 oz)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Meanwhile, cook pancetta in oil in a large pot or saute pan over medium heat until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 2 Tbsp drippings.
Sweat onions, carrot and celery and drippings in same pot, covered over medium heat until vegetables soften, 5-8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, sage, anchovy paste, and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Deglaze pot with wine, scraping up any brown bits. Cook until wine nearly evaporates, 3-5 minutes. Add broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, & pasta water. Bring to boil; reduce to medium low and simmer 15 mins.
Transfer 2 cups* to a food processor or blender; carefully puree and return to pot. Stir pasta into soup; cook until warmed through, 3-5 minutes. Season soup with salt and black pepper; top servings with Parmesan and pancetta.
*This gives thickness and body to your soup. You can avoid this step if you like a thinner soup, or add more if you prefer a thicker soup.