minestrone de ceci
minestrone with chick peas
150g of chunky soup pasta
200g of dried chickpeas
1 hock of Parma ham or 120g of pork rind (cut into strips)
A stick of celery
2 stems of cardoon thistle or 2 artichokes
10 escarole leaves or other greens
4-5 sun dried tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
This recipe contains a few ingredients that you may find difficult to find outside of Italy but don’t worry there are substitutes. The end pieces of Parma hams (the hock) make a wonderful base for a soup, just ask your local delicatessen to save it for you when they come to the end of the ham as a lot of the time it is only discarded. Cardi or cardoon are another ingredient that you may or may not find difficult to find outside of Italy but is very similar in flavour to artichokes ( it is actually from the same family) so you can substitute without too much difference to the flavour of the recipe.
The chickpeas should be soaked in cold water for at least six hours before you begin to make the soup.
This recipe could not be easier. Roughly chop all of the vegetables and the sun dried tomatoes and add to a large deep pan with the hock of ham or strips of pork rind. Add some olive oil and cook over a medium heat turning the ingredients together so that all the flavours begin to amalgamate together. Season with salt and then add enough water so that the vegetables are covered. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for about 1 hour.
Add your pasta to the soup and cook until al dente (still with a bite and not soggy). Finish the minestrone with a lug of extra virgin olive oil.