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:
- 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.
- Add the wine, raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine boils off.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve, garnished with chopped parsley and a teaspoon of olive oil per serving, if desired.