Chickpea and Kale Soup

From Laura Di Lembo

2015 Mar/Apr

Adapted from a Lidia Bastianich recipe. Canned chickpeas would be equally welcome in this comforting potage that pairs a great bean soup with the robust charms of a kale smoothie.


  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced, about 1 c.
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (reserve the juice)
  • 3 Thai green chiles, stems removed, sliced into thin rings
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 c. fresh chickpeas with shells to yield 2 c. shelled, or 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 c. water or chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 long dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • large pinch of dried chile flakes
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 t. kosher salt or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • grated Romano cheese


Heat the oil in a soup pot and sauté the carrot, celery and onion, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add lemon zest, chiles and garlic and cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, water or broth, bay leaves, Tabasco sauce and chile flakes. Simmer for 30 minutes. If using fresh chickpeas, they should be tender. Remove bay leaves.

Wash the kale, remove centre ribs and put the leaves in a food processor. Carefully ladle 2 cups of the soup into the food processor with the kale and pulse until puréed. Return the purée to the soup pot and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the reserved lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated Romano cheese sprinkled on top. Serves 6 to 8.