Chicory, chickpea and pancetta soup (zuppa di ceci, cicoria e pancetta)


  • Serves 6 people

For a chunkier soup leave the chickpeas whole. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

  • 400 gm (2 cups) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 2.5 litres (10 cups) chicken stock (see our Italian chicken stock recipe or use another good-quality unsalted chicken stock)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 100 gm mild pancetta, diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 800 gm chicory (about 2 bunches), leaves only, coarsely chopped
  • To serve: extra-virgin olive oil
01   Drain chickpeas (discard liquid) and place in a large saucepan, add stock and bring to the boil, then cook over low heat until tender (1-1½ hours). Remove half the chickpeas and process to a coarse texture in a food processor, then return to soup.
02   Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add pancetta, onion, garlic and rosemary and cook until tender (10-15 minutes). Add to soup with chicory, season to taste and stir occasionally until tender (30 minutes). Serve hot drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.
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