Serves 8 +
This delicious purée works wonderfully on its own, with just a piece of grilled country bread to dip into it, but it is also delicious when seared shrimp or scallops are added to it. I like to make it with dried chickpeas; they are much more economical. All you need to do is soak them overnight and boil them. But when you are in a time pinch, the canned, cooked chickpeas will do. Drain them and proceed to pass them through the food mill.
- 1 pound chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finish
- Grilled country bread, for serving
- Fresh basil leaves, shredded, for garnish
Drain the chickpeas, and put them in a pot with 3 quarts of cold water, the garlic, bay leaves, and rosemary. Simmer until the chickpeas are very tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and rosemary and let cool before puréeing the chickpeas with an immersion blender or in a food processor (in batches). Pour soup back into a pot, add salt and oil, and return to a simmer before serving.
To serve, put a slice of grilled country bread in the bottom of each bowl, ladle the soup over the bread, and garnish with the shredded basil and a drizzle of olive oil.