Just a few seasonal ingredients go into this simple minestrone-style soup to make a flavour-packed start to a meal. Add some crusty sourdough and extra-virgin olive oil for dipping and it could also serve as the main act. If you make the soup ahead, the chickpeas will soak up the liquid, but that's easily fixed by adding a little extra stock before serving. Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the chickpeas.
- 150 gm dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight, drained
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 400 gm peeled and diced Kent pumpkin (about ¼ small)
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (4 cups)
- 150 gm tomato polpa, or finely chopped canned tomatoes
- 240 gm cavolo nero, trimmed, stalks thinly sliced (1 bunch)
- Finely grated parmesan, chilli flakes (optional), mild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil and basil leaves, to serve
- 1Cover chickpeas generously with cold water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until tender (45 minutes to 1 hour). Drain.
- 2Warm oil in a separate large saucepan over low-medium heat, add onion and sauté until translucent (10-15 minutes). Add garlic and rosemary and stir until garlic starts to soften (1 minute), then add pumpkin and cook until pumpkin starts to soften (4-5 minutes). Add stock and tomato polpa, season and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until pumpkin is just tender (5-6 minutes).
- 3Add chickpeas and cavolo nero to pan, and simmer until pumpkin is tender but not breaking down (6-9 minutes). Season to taste and serve scattered with parmesan and a pinch of chilli, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and topped with basil leaves.
Drink Suggestion: Chestnut lager Drink suggestion by Max Allen