Sopa de grão-de-bico com macarrãozinho (Chickpea and pasta soup)

The chickpea and pasta soup is a winter recipe in the south of Brazil. It is a variation of meats and vegetables stew recipes brought to Brazil by Portuguese, Spanish and Italian immigrants. This soup can be enriched with meat and sausages, that ends up being a complete, balanced one-dish meal. 
The chickpeas are not a native Brazilian ingredient, therefore they are not commonly found in traditional Brazilian cuisine. However, they are used in a lot of interesting dishes brought by different cultures that arrived into Brazil, such as hummus and falafel, two traditional Arabic dishes.

Ingredients

  • • 300 g dried chickpeas
  • • a bay leaf
  • • 1 onion
  • • 1 garlic clove
  • • 1 tomato
  • • 1 potato
  • • fresh parsley
  • • 150 g bacon
  • • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 50 g soup pasta
  • • salt and ground pepper or chilli pepper

Preparation method

1. The night before soak the chickpeas (wash them before) in plenty of water at room temperature. 
2. Drain the soaked chickpeas and put into a saucepan with 2 litres of water and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat until very tender. If time and and patience allow, pinch the skins off all the chickpeas and discard them. You'll have a smooth soup. 
3. Peel and chop the onion, garlic and tomato. Cut the bacon into small pieces. 
4. Peel and dice the potato into cubes. Chop the parsley. 
5. Put the olive oil in a pan, add the bacon, the chopped vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. 
6. Add the potato, the parsley, the pasta and the boiled chickpeas with its cooking water. 
7. Cook over a low heat until all the ingredients are very tender and the soup is as thick as you want it. If you want a really thick soup crush, with a fork, some of the chickpeas. 
8. Season with salt and pepper and ladle the soup into soup bowls and drizzle with a little olive oil. 

Note: You can serve this soup at room temperature in hot weather.
Posted on: 11 November 2013
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