Chickpea and Chestnut Soup

Chickpea and Chestnut Soup

© Lena Staal

Chickpea and Chestnut Soup

Chickpea and Chestnut Soup

© Lena Staal

Ingredients (Serves 4)

300
g
dried chickpeas
1
l
water
700
g
chestnuts (fresh or already cooked)
2
bay leaves
1
tablespoon
fennel seeds
100
g
pancetta, cubed
2
teaspoon
olive oil, plus extra to serve
2
garlic cloves, sliced
1
large onion, chopped
salt
black pepper
handful
chopped parsley, to serve

Preparation:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of water, then rinse well. Bring 1 litre of water to a boil, add the chickpeas and cook until soft, about 45 minutes.
  • While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the chestnuts. If using fresh chestnuts, cut the chestnuts on one side with a sharp knife. Put in a pan with water to cover, add the bay leaves and fennel seeds, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain, leave to cool slightly, peel and roughly chop or crumble.
  • If using pre-cooked chestnuts, bring them to the boil briefly with the spices, leave off the heat for 30 minutes, then roughly chop or crumble.
  • Fry the pancetta in a pan large enough for the soup in the olive oil over a low heat until crispy. Lift out and set aside for later.
  • Add the garlic and onion and sauté both until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chestnuts and fry briefly, then add the chickpeas and their cooking liquid.
  • Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the soup becomes creamy. Add the pancetta.
  • Before serving, season each plate with a drizzle of olive oil and extra pepper and garnish with a little parsley, if desired. Enjoy with toasted bread.

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