Chick Pea Soup


Soups using chick peas are common throughout Italy. This recipe comes from the area are Pisa, in Tuscanny.

Fairly difficult
Fairly cheap

Chick Pea Soup
Preparation time
Cooking time


For 4 Person(s)


  • 10 ounce(s) dried chick peas
  • 6 1/2 ounce(s) young swiss chard (silver beer). cleaned and washed
  • 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, whole but lightly crushed
  • 3 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 3 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 liter(s) 3 (pints) boiling water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices dense grain, home-style bread, toasted
  • 4 tablespoon(s) freshly grated aged pecorino cheese, preferably Tuscan

Chick Pea Soup Directions

  1. Place the chick peas in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 5 cm (2 in). Soak for 12 hours (it might take as long as 24 hours if the chick peas are a year or more ol).
  2. About 3 1/hours before you intend to serve the soup, put the Swiss chard, well rinsed but not drained dry, in a pot and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy- bottomed pan or earthenware pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.
  4. Add the anchovy fillets, mashing them with a fork as you stir.
  5. Drain the chick peas and add to the pot, together with the chard and the liquid it was cooked in, and the tomatoes ( or tomato paste). Season with salt and pepper, stir, and add about 2 liters (3 pints) of hot water.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer over medium heat for at least 3 hours. The chick peas should be very tender.
  7. Taste for salt and pepper.
  8. Arrange the slices of bread in individual soup bowls and ladle the soup over the top.
  9. Sprinkle with pecorino and serve.
  10. Variation: Use 500 g (1lb) of drained, tinned chick peas. This will cut out the lengthy soaking process. In this case reduce the cooking time to just over 30 minutes. Only about 1 litre (1 1/2 pints) of water will be required.

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