Zuppa de Ceci e Mais

Zuppa de Ceci e Mais just sounds way fancier than Chickpea and Corn soup.  The flavor profile and inspiration are Italian though: Italian cooking is full of various chickpea soups.  This one has the spices of the Neapolitan chickpea and seafood soups – with corn and a savory wakame-dulse-kombu broth standing in for the clams.  Authentic?  Perhaps not.  Tasty?  Most definitely.

Yield: 4 small or 2 mega-this-is-my-whole-meal servings

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (+ more for garnish if desire)
  • 1 carrot, finely diced, 1/2 cup or so
  • 2 small onions, finely diced, 1 cup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 cups seaweed stock (soak or simmer a mixture of 1 tsp dry wakame, 1 tablespoon dry dulse and a 3″ square of dry kombu for a while – with any veggie scraps you have lying around.  Strain and then measure)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few threads of saffron (optional)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (ideally cut off one ear of corn, they’ll be crunchier that way – but in a bind, frozen and defrosted will do fine)
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked or sprouted chickpeas (sprouted shown here)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + a healthy pinch (or to taste)
  • parsley for garnish (optional)

What you do:

  1. In a 3 quart, thick-bottomed pot, sweat the onions and carrot in the olive oil with a healthy pinch of salt over low heat.  When they begin to soften, 5-8 minutes, add the garlic.  Sweat some more, until everything is soft and fragrant, 12-15 minutes.  Make sure to keep the heat low and avoid any of the vegetables coloring.                              IMG_1733
  2. Add the wine, raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine boils off.
  3. Add the seaweed stock, rosemary, bay, saffron if using, corn, chickpeas and salt.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a gentle simmer.  Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until corn is done and flavors have blended to your taste.
  4. Remove a cup of the soup, use a blender or immersion blender to purée it smooth.  Pour it back into the soup pot and mix.  Taste, adjusting seasonings as desired.
  5. Serve, garnished with chopped parsley and a teaspoon of olive oil per serving, if desired.

 

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