Chickpea soup with almond pesto

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By: Gary Rhodes From: Rhodes across Italy

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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.35 / 5 (31 votes)

Prep time:
25 min
Cook time:
2 hrs 5 min

Light almond pesto adds flavour and colour to Gary Rhodes’ warming chickpea soup


1. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen string, to prevent the leaves from falling off.

2. In a large pan put the chickpeas and cicerchia (if using) along with all the finely chopped vegetables, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Add enough cold water to cover the chickpeas and vegetables by approximately 2.5cm.

3. Place over a medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 1½ to 2 hours, topping up with more water if necessary to keep the level 2.5cm above the vegetables and chickpeas.

4. For the pesto: Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend to a smooth consistency.

5. Remove the rosemary and thyme bunch from the soup and discard.

6. Next ladle two thirds of the chickpeas and half the stock into a food processor and whiz until smooth, leaving the remaining chick peas and vegetables whole. Pour the smooth soup back into the pan and season to taste with salt.

7. Reheat the soup so that it is piping hot and serve in bowls, adding a dollop of pesto to each.


For the soup

For the pesto

Tips and suggestions

Cicerchia are an ancient type of pulse found central Italy. They are similar to chickpeas but have a more stunted shape and earthier flavour. You can sometimes find them in specialist Italian gourmet stores, otherwise look out for them when on holiday in Umbria and the Marche.

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Latest Comment


which region is this from

ReissK42187 ReissK42187  Posted 23 Sep 2010 8:47 PM

joanF84660 joanF84660  Posted 26 Jan 2010 11:22 PM