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Ceci Bean Soup

Ceci Bean Soup
Ceci beans (Italian for "chickpeas") are a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cooking. This hearty legume, which has a mild, nutlike flavor, is often used to make soups and stews as well as salads.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup diced pancetta or bacon
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups cooked ceci beans
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Freshly made pesto for serving

Directions:

In a soup pot over medium-low heat, cook the pancetta, stirring, until golden and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the sage and tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ceci beans, broth and rosemary and cook, stirring, for 20 minutes.

Remove the rosemary and discard. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth and blended. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top each serving with a spoonful of pesto.
Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.