This season-appropriate soup is hearty and savory, and with the abundance of tomatoes in this recipe, it also hints at the spring and summer months to come. We are assured it’s approachable even for novice chefs like us, so this could become a year-round go-to addition to your recipe repertoire. Without further delay, welcome the Pappa al Pomodoro with Chickpea Crostini from Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen into your kitchen!
Andrew Michael's Pappa al Pomodoro with Chickpea Crostini
- 1 good glug olive oil
- ½ red onion diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 bulb fennel diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 6 ripe tomatoes diced
- One 3-oz 90-g piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
- One 1-lb 500 g loaf day-old Tuscan bread, cut into small cubes
- 1 sprig fresh basil
- 2 q 2 l chicken stock
- 1 cup 8 fl oz/250 ml dry white wine
- Six ½-inch 12-mm slices crusty bread
- 2 cups 14 oz/440 g cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon roasted garlic
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1/4 cup 2 fl oz/60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Canola oil for frying
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
- In a soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the fennel and sauté briefly, then add the celery, and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the wine and cook until nearly evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes, stock, three-fourths of the bread cubes, and the basil, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about one-third, about 20 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C).
- Spread the remaining bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
- To make the crostini, arrange the bread slices on the sheet pan and toast in the oven until golden brown. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine 1 cup (7 oz/220 g) of the chickpeas, the roasted garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice and pulse until finely chopped.
- With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour the canola oil into a deep fryer to the fill line or a tall-sided saucepan to a depth of 2 inches (5 cm) and heat to 350°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer.
- Add the remaining 1 cup chickpeas, the rosemary, and parsley to the hot oil and fry until crisp, about 20 seconds.
- Remove the chickpeas and herbs from the oil and drain on a paper towel.
- Put the fried chickpeas and herbs in a bowl and toss with the lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, spread the chickpea purée on the toasted bread slices and top with the fried chickpea mixture.
- Drop the toasted bread cubes into the soup and divide among soup bowls. Accompany each bowl with a chickpea crostini.
- Buon appetito!
For more delicious recipes and narrative from food travels and the family kitchens of chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, check out the duo’s debut cookbook Collards & Carbonara, available locally at the restaurant and at the Booksellers at Laurelwood.