Chickpea and Roasted Garlic Soup

I really wish mother nature would make up her mind already.  Monday, we were graced with a gorgeous spring day in the mid-seventies, the following day- winds, rain and chill-you-to-the-bone temperatures swept through the city. Yesterday, the temperatures reached the mild mid-50's or so. Honestly, it's enough to drive one absolutely mad, especially when all they want to do is pack up the bulky sweaters and the down parka and break out all the spring frocks.  And then we have dinner.
It wasn't quite salad and outdoor grilling weather, yet it didn't quite call for a warm, comforting stew either.  Allow me to introduce you to Chickpea and Roasted Garlic Soup- a light, pureed broth of chickpeas, earthy roasted garlic and a splash of bright lemon to remind you that spring weather really is on the horizon.

We made it last night and it was the perfect choice.  After sending Dan to the store for a few necessities I was missing (rosemary, broth and celery) I realized that I had somehow forgotten that our oven was broken (and has been for over a week now) and I was setting out to make a soup of chickpeas and roasted garlic.  Determined to make this soup, yet not willing to knock on my neighbor's door to ask him if I could roast an entire head of garlic in his oven, I decided to "make it work" (as Tim Gunn would say).  I ended up sautéing the garlic with the vegetables, but upped the carrots to two and a half (a generous one cup chopped) in an effort to balance out the massive amounts of garlic.  I also added one quart of chicken broth and one quart of vegetable broth to add a bit more depth to the soup.  It was quite delicious, even without the missing roasted garlic that surely would have added a sweet mellowness to the soup.  

I served it with a shaving of Locatelli Pecorino cheese (in the amazing soup cups my mom got me for Christmas) along with crusty bread.

Chickpea and Roasted Garlic Soup

This hearty soup is thick and wonderfully rich.  Chickpeas help the digestive system, which in turn helps clear up complexion problems.  The garlic is sweet from the roasting and a good boost for your immune system. -Susan Ciminelli

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 cups of cooked chickpeas
1 large head of roasted garlic
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary
2 quarts of chicken stock
Sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 10 minutes.  Add chickpeas, roasted garlic, rosemary, and chicken stock.  Cook for 20 minutes.

Transfer the soup to a blender in batches and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender).  Return the pureed soup to the pot and reheat.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Just before serving, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley and stir to combine.

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