Sicilian chickpea and escarole soup with garlic bread

Vegetarian, Soy Free

2 Servings, 620 Calories/Serving

35 Minutes

The secret to this flavorful vegetarian soup is to cook the vegetables slowly to intensify their natural sugars. If you happen to have a Parmesan cheese rind on hand, simmer it in the soup to give a nice bump to the soup’s overall flavor. Just remove the rind before serving.


  • 1 to 2 shallots
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ pound fennel
  • 6 ounces escarole
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ciabatta
  • ¼ teaspoon pimient d’espelette (optional)
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan



Prep the vegetables

Heat the oven to 375ºF.
  • Peel the shallot and cut into thin slices.
  • Finely chop the garlic.
  • Scrub the carrot, trim the top, and cut into ¼-inch-thick half-moon slices.
  • Remove the stem and core from the fennel and thinly slice the bulb.
  • Rinse and dry the escarole leaves.
  • Finely chop the parsley and rosemary leaves.
  • Rinse the chickpeas.


Make the garlic bread

In a bowl, combine the butter with half the rosemary and half the garlic. Season with salt, and mash with a fork until well blended.
Cut the ciabatta in half lengthwise and spread the rosemary-garlic butter evenly over the slices. Place on a sheet pan and bake until the butter has melted and the ciabatta is lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. While the ciabatta bakes, cook the soup.


Cook the soup

In a pot over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the remaining garlic, as much of the pimient d’espelette as you like, the carrot, and the fennel. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and starting to caramelize, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, escarole, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the escarole is tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the parsley and remaining rosemary, and season to taste with salt and pepper.



Transfer the soup to individual bowls. Garnish with the Parmesan, and serve with the garlic bread.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 620, Protein: 18 g, Total Fat: 32 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Saturated Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 50 mg, Carbohydrates: 68 g, Fiber: 12 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 820 mg

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