Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Chickpea and Puntarelle Soup

Puntarelle, one of the staple of Roman cuisine, it’s a variant of chicory with head of long stems and leaves vibrant green colour with tapered and chubby shoots that form at the centre of chicory, with a crunchy texture and a slightly bitter taste, perfect eaten both raw and cooked. Puntarelle means “little points,” referred to its shape.

Perfect combined with chickpeas, either the dried ones soaked overnight or for convenience the already cooked ones in glass jar. This is such a warm comfort food during winter time as well as perfect to eat cold on hot days.

Serves 2, Preparation 15 mins, Cooking approx. 2 hrs

  • Puntarelle Chicory, 500 g
  • Dried Chickpea soaked overnight room temperature water or the Pre-cooked Chickpeas in a Glass Jar, 300 g
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 2 anchovy fillets in oil, optional
  • Hot water or hot vegetable broth, approx. 250 ml
  • Salt, to taste
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tbsp


Dry chickpeas should be soaked in water at room temperature for about 10-12 hours or overnight. The longer they soak, the better. The chickpeas should be covered completely with water. Change the water twice within 10-12 hours. Then wash them well under running water and drain them.

Cut off the tough white end of Puntarelle, then cut them roughly into strips.

Fry a couple of cloves of garlic and a chilli pepper in a non-stick pan with two tablespoons of EVOO, then let melt in a couple of anchovy fillets, stir, add the chickpeas letting them take on flavour for few mins.

Add hot water or hot vegetable broth from time to time by covering evenly chickpeas, cook for about 2 hours lid-covered and checking the cooking from time to time. Chickpeas should be well cooked through yet still slightly firm.
Add Puntarelle strips, stir, add more hot vegetable broth or hot water if necessary, cooking forward approximately for 10 minutes, add salt only at the end.


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