Chick pea soup with pancetta and dried wild mushrooms

I made another foray into the soup-making world with this chick pea and pancetta soup from Italian Kitchen. I had really no familiarity with the chick pea. Apparently, chick peas are legumes high in dietary fiber, and apparently interchangeable with the term “garbanzo bean” (unbeknownst to both David and me), which is good because David is a fan of garbanzo. Garbanzo is the term used in Spain and Italy, and chick pea is a UK convention.

Recipe

from Marcella’s Italian Kitchen
for 4 people

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups lukewarm water
19-oz can chick peas
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-1/2 oz. pancetta, cut into narrow strips, about 1/2 cup
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup carrot, chopped fine
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
2 tsp tomato paste dissolved in filtered water of soaked mushrooms
salt and pepper
3 cups meat broth

Soak mushrooms in the water for at least 30 minutes. Rinse in cold water and chop coarsely, set aside. Filter the water inwhich the mushrooms soaked through a strainer lined with a paper towel. Dissolve tomato paste in this water. Set aside. Put olive oil, pancetta and onion in a large saucepan or soup pot and turn on heat to medium. When onions become medium-gold coloured, add carrot and celery. Cook until vegetables are not only nicely browned but tender. Add soaked mushrooms and the mushroom liquid with tomato paste. Continue cooking in the uncovered pot until all liquid has boiled away. Drain chick peas, add them to the pot, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Taste and correct for salt, adding a few grindings of pepper. Add broth and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve.

Musings

D reported it to be quite delicious. Smooth, rich but not too thick. He suggested a bit more pepper and maybe even a pinch of cayenne for a bit of kick. It would be great with a nice crusty bread, or even with some pasta stirred in for a more filling meal.

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