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Elizabeth Poett's Rustic Garbanzo Bean Soup with Parmesan and Homemade Chili Oil

Rustic Garbanzo Bean Soup with Parmesan and Homemade Chili Oil

byElizabeth Poett
Total 2 hours and 15 minutes (includes cooking beans from dry)
Active 30 mins
Makes 4 to 6 servings
This is a simple, nourishing soup that’s full of flavor and easy to make. Blending half of the garbanzos (a.k.a. chickpeas) makes for just the right combination of flavorful broth and satisfying texture — not too thick, not too thin. The tomato makes the soup bright, and the basil adds a summery fragrance and flavor, and you can never have too much Parmesan cheese! If you don’t have time to cook the beans, you can make it with canned beans instead. You can also trade out the garbanzo beans for another type of bean.
For the beans
  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, picked through for debris (or two 15-ounce cans of garbanzo beans, drained)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the chili oil
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and halved
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
For the soup
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • One 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 to 3 ounces Parmesan rind
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1. For the beans: Pour the dried garbanzo beans into a medium bowl full of water. Remove any beans that float and drain the water. Put the beans, bay leaves, and salt into a heavy pot and add enough fresh water to cover the beans by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then adjust the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Discard the bay leaves and set the beans aside.
    2. For the chili oil: Add the olive oil, shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, paprika, salt, and bay leaves to a medium saucepan. Place over low heat and simmer for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and remove the garlic, shallot, and bay leaves. Set the oil aside.
    3. For the soup: Combine the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary in a heavy pot. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until you start to really smell the garlic and rosemary. Add the tomato sauce, broth, Parmesan rind, and the garbanzo beans to the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes.
    4. Remove the Parmesan rind. Use a slotted spoon to transfer about half of the garbanzo beans from the pot into a food processor. Add about a cup of the broth to the food processor and blend into a smooth purée. Add the purée back to the soup pot. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
    5. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with torn basil leaves and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle chili oil over the soup to taste.