I know, I know. It’s cheating to re-post an old recipe, but it’s just the right time for chickpea and bread soup. You see, for us Catholics it’s still Lent. And any good Catholic school girl knows that you shouldn’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent. And I honestly could care less about being meatless as long as I can have soup that’s as good as this. It’s kind of like French Onion soup, but the toasted chickpeas give it a slightly nutty flavor and make it more of a meal. Just perfect for Holy Week next week and pretty much any other time. Still one of my favorites!
3 tbsp. olive oil (or unsalted butter)
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
4 cups beef stock (or Veal stock if you can get it)
3/4 a baguette, cut into small chunks
4 â€“ 5 oz. shredded cheese (I used jack, but Gruyere would be awesome here!)
Set a large, heavy pot over medium heat and add 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Saute the onions for 10 minutes, or until theyâ€™re soft and almost brown. Remove the onions to a bowl and set aside.
Add the rest of the olive oil to the pot, then the chickpeas. Toast the chickpeas until theyâ€™re golden on all sides, about 20 minutes. Resist the urge to stir them too often, or they wonâ€™t toast well. You should hear the chickpeas popping in the heat. Give them a good stir occasionally to make sure theyâ€™re not sticking, but donâ€™t worry too much if they do.
Once your chickpeas are golden and toasted, add the stock, using a wooden spoon to scrape any chickpea residue from the bottom of the pot. Add the onions back into the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the bread.
Ladle the soup into oven-safe dishes or small pots. Sprinkle each one with cheese and place them under your ovenâ€™s broiler for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned. Remove carefully and serve immediately.
Makes 4 big bowls of soup.