This recipe originally came from Bon Appetit Magazine circa 1997. I came across it while living in Rome with my roommates, Wendy and Leah. Leah was clever enough to bring some cooking magazines with her, and she cooked up a storm while we were there. I blame her for opening my pallet to fresh foods during that semester abroad. The first time she made this, we didn’t have a blender. After a bad day, I came home and pureed it by hand to get out some frustration – I recommend using a blender!
- 3 1/2 Cups dried ceci (garbanzo) beans, about 1 lb. Soak over night and drain.
You can also use about 3 cans of beans (to save a bit of time)
- 1 1/2 Cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped, peeled carrots
- 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped, seeded tomato
- 2 bacon slices (optional)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 12 1/2 inch thick baguette slices, halved cross-wise
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved
Boil the soup: Place beans in heavy large pot. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Drains beans. Return to pot. Add enough water to cover by inches. Add onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and bacon. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water to cover beans. About 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Make croutons: Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add baguette slices and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per slice. Using tongs or a fork, transfer croxfbtons to a paper-towel covered plate. Rub garlic over both sides of the croxfbton.
Puree soup: Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor (or Tammy-power) until mostly smooth, thinning with more water is desired. Return to pot. Season with salt and pepper.
Serving: Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle 1 tsp. Oil over each serving. Top with croxfbtons. Think of Rome, and enjoy!