Chef's Recipes

Eugenio Maiale: Zuppa di ceci e sedano (chickpea and celery soup)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for zuppa di ceci sedano (chickpea and celery soup) by Eugenio Maiale from A Tavola restaurant in Sydney.

By Eugenio Maiale
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 6
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Eugenio Maiale: Zuppa di cece sedano (chickpea and celery soup)
“This was a staple part of my diet when I was a child, and it’s something I’ll never tire of.” You’ll need to start this recipe a day ahead.


  • 600 gm dried organic chickpeas (see note)
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100 gm canned peeled Italian-style tomatoes and juice
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 punnet celery cress, picked, to serve (optional)


  • 1
    Soak chickpeas overnight in plenty of lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.
  • 2
    Heat olive oil in a saucepan over low to medium heat, add vegetables and garlic, stir occasionally until onion is transparent (8 minutes). Add tomato and bay leaf, cook until tender (8-10 minutes). Add chicken stock and chickpeas, season to taste, bring to the boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer until chickpeas are soft, adding extra stock or water, if necessary, to keep chickpeas covered (1 hour 30 minutes-1 hour 45 minutes). Season to taste, serve drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and scattered with celery cress.


Note Organic chickpeas are available from health-food shops and select delicatessens. You can substitute small dried chickpeas.
Drink Suggestion: Gaglioppo, a red with herb and mineral notes. Drink suggestion by Glen Davis

  • Author: Eugenio Maiale