Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Penne and Chickpea Soup

Penne and Chickpea Soup
Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

Serves 6 to 8 as a main course

1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces bacon or pancetta, diced fine
4 medium cloves garlic , peeled and bruised
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes (about 2 cups), with liquid
2 cans (16-ounces each) chickpeas (about 3 cups), drained and rinsed, and 1 1/2 of the 3 cups mashed with a fork
2 teaspoons table salt , plus extra for seasoning
8 ounces penne pasta or other short pasta
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Ground black pepper
Pecorino Romano cheese , freshly grated
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Heat olive oil in large soup kettle or stockpot over medium heat. Add bacon or pancetta; sauté until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary sprig; sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes longer. Add tomatoes with their liquid, whole and mashed chickpeas, 6 cups water, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer to blend flavors, about 10 minutes. Add pasta; cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove rosemary sprig and add chopped rosemary; adjust seasoning with salt and ground black pepper, and serve, passing grated cheese and olive oil, if desired, separately.


My notes:
I used turkey bacon. I suppose you could use fake bacon or omit it but it did impart some flavor. At the end I found it plenty salty so didn't add more salt. Also, I'm not a HUGE fan of rosemary so I took the sprig out (some little pieces were still present) and did not add the tablespoon of chopped rosemary at the end. The penne I used was Ronzoni's Smart Taste penne which has extra fiber and calcium.

This soup was really good and very easy. I would definitely make it again.

I am trying to make more soups because my kids don't really like them but I'm a mean mom and am forcing it upon them. Mwahahahahaha.

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