This humble southern Italian soup was born of frugality, but is rich and robust with taste and texture. We set out to develop a recipe that, like authentic recipes, transformed economical ingredients into a hearty, satisfying soup to remember.
Why This Recipe Works
When developing our chickpea soup recipe, we found that, unlike most dried beans, dried chickpeas must be soaked overnight before cooking; otherwise, they require an extremely long cooking time (over four hours in our experience) and they cook up with an unappealing chalky texture. We also discovered that they must be simmered slowly for even cooking and to prevent their skins from becoming tough. To infuse the chickpeas for our chickpea soup recipe with flavor, we simmered the soaked chickpeas in water along with onion, carrot, celery, herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes, and—the secret weapon—a Parmesan cheese rind, which added a full, nutty, almost meaty flavor to the simmering liquid that complemented the nuttiness of the chickpeas.