For that post-Christmas roundy feeling, there’s nothing like a hearty bowl of soup for dinner – filling but light, and always satisfying. I made this after coming back from a few days away with family for the festivities, so, fridge empty, I went in search of tins to make a warming bowl of goodness. And, hey presto, a soup was born. It’s based on a Marcella Hazan recipe (from a book I got for Christmas); please do read some of her recipes, they’re hearty, uncomplicated, dare I say it, ‘rustic’ type of Italian dishes that I love. And I’m sure you’ll love them too. This soup is a tomato, chickpea and optional tiny pasta combo, with some added stock, rosemary and olive oil, nice served with some Parmesan-style cheese, should you have some in the back of the fridge, or even the rind will do, adding it to the soup but removing it before serving. Or no cheese, too, that’s okay. You decide.
Tomato and Chickpea Soup
Serves 4 for dinner (or 2 now and 2 bowls for work lunches tomorrow)
1 small onion diced or 2 whole peeled cloves of garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic paste
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped finely, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tin, 400g, tinned tomatoes
1 tin, 400g cooked chickpeas, drained
500ml stock, beef or vegetable
100g small dried pasta, like stelline or fillini or broken spaghetti
(If not adding pasta, reduce the stock to 400ml)
Add the oil to the pan, and when hot, add your garlic or onion. If using garlic paste, keep an eye it doesn’t catch.
Add the tomatoes and mush them up in the pot, swiftly followed herbs. Allow these to infuse on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
Then add the drained chickpeas, the stock and the tiny pasta, if using. Leave it be, lid ajar, for 10 minutes.
Serve with some cheese on top and some toast for dipping, if there’s any bread left hanging around the house.