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Zuppa di ceci e grano pestato (Chickpea soup and crushed grains)

You'll need

  Pesto Pugliese 2½ cups (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley 50 gm caperberries (about 20), stems removed 8 anchovy fillets 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil   Zuppa di ceci 300 gm small organic dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, drained 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock 6 sage leaves 3 fresh bay leaves 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve   Grano pestato 400 gm farro perlato (see note) 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 30 gm wild rocket (optional)


  • 01
  • For pesto Pugliese, pulse ingredients (except oil) in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add oil in a thin, steady stream until mixture is finely chopped, season liberally with freshly ground pepper, then cover and refrigerate until required. Makes 300ml.
  • 02
  • For zuppa di ceci, remove and discard skins from chickpeas and rinse under cold running water. Place in a saucepan with stock, herbs, garlic, oil and 300ml water. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until chickpeas are very tender (35-40 minutes). Reserve 1 cup chickpeas, then coarsely purée remaining chickpeas with a potato masher or hand-held blender, season to taste, stir through reserved chickpeas, thin with extra stock or water if desired, and keep warm.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for grano pestato, rinse farro and lightly pound with a mortar and pestle. Sauté garlic and chilli in oil until softened (3-4 minutes). Add farro and 1 tsp salt, then add 800ml hot water, a little at a time, until liquid has been absorbed and farro is al dente (20-25 minutes). Remove from heat and stir through rocket, if using, until wilted.
  • 04
  • Ladle zuppa di ceci into serving bowls, top with grano pestato and serve with pesto Pugliese to taste.
Note Farro perlato is available from select delicatessens and David Jones food halls.

This recipe is from the May 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Cantele Rosato Negroamaro.

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