This recipe carries a bit of nostalgia for me. Not only is it one of the first dishes I made when I started cooking, but it brings me back to my vacations in Tuscany – where the inspiration for this soup comes from.
The first time I made this recipe, I remember how apprehensive I was making soup from scratch (which I had never done before), and how my husband had to be my cheerleader pushing me along.
I also remember the disasters along the way:
…Putting hot soup into a blender (filling it all the way up), not knowing that the hot soup expands when you turn on the blender, and having chickpea soup explode all over my kitchen – that was a funny (and also mortifying) moment.
…Using a pot that was too small for the soup to begin with, causing soup to splash all over the newly cleaned stove – that my husband had literally cleaned an hour before
…Thinking that dinner would be ready by 8pm, but after the disasters and being somewhat of an inexperienced cook, eating dinner around 9:30pm.
Fast forward 3 years later, and how times have changed 🙂
Soup from scratch is one of my go-to recipes for quick and healthy meals, and thanks to my immersion blender, that blending accident is a distant memory. This dish is actually not a difficult recipe at all, I think my nerves and inexperience just got the better of me that first time around.
Oh and did I mention, even with the first-timer cooking accidents, this soup was absolutely delicious. It is tasty, warming and has a great mediterranean flavor. It also packs a nutritional punch with the fiber and protein from the chickpeas, and lycopene from the tomatoes. My slightly modified version of the original recipe (which I found on myrecipes.com) is below.
Adapted from myrecipes.com
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (or a large pot) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the water and the next 5 ingredients (water through tomatoes), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
Step 2: Place 2 cups soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with 2 cups soup. (Note: the other alternative here is to use an immersion blender – it works a lot more quickly and is a lot less messy!)
Step 3: If using a blender, return all pureed soup to pan. Stir in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Spoon 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.
This recipe makes 6 HUGE servings. It is super filling and I love that it’s a one-pot meal! The husband absolutely loves this soup, and we always end up with leftovers that taste great the next day or a couple days later.
To all those new cooks out there – I encourage you to try this recipe. It might seem a little daunting at first but once you make it and it turns out to be delicious (and I promise, it will), you’ll have a newfound confidence in the kitchen 🙂