Crema di Ceci with Porcini and Pine Nuts
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 4-6
I've used mushrooms as a garnish in this recipe but you could customize this basic pureed chickpea soup with a sprinkling of spiced nuts,a dab of truffle butter, fried chickpeas, shaved Parmesan, crispy prosciutto, herb infused oil, garlic croutons...
  • 1½ c. Dried Chickpeas (Ceci Beans, Garbanzo Beans), soaked overnight
  • 4 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 small or 1 medium White Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 T. Tomato Paste
  • 4 c. Vegetable Stock
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Fresh Sage
  • Lemon Juice, to taste (optional)
  • ¼ c. Dried Porcini Mushrooms (reconstituted with boiling water, water reserved)
  • 1 c. Fresh Crimini (Baby Bella) Mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 T. Dry Marsala
  • 1 T. Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
  • 2 T. Pine Nuts (pignoli), toasted
  1. Drain and rinse soaked chickpeas. Place in medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a halved onion, sage leaves, and bay leaf for additional flavor, if desired. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Skim any foam that rises to the top. Cook beans about 1 hour, until tender. Remove from heat, remove onion, sage and bay leaves, season with salt. Do not drain.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pot, warm 3 T. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until golden. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and tomato paste, stir to coat onions and allow tomato paste to get a little darker.
  3. Add beans with cooking liquid and stock. Tuck in a couple sprigs of rosemary and a few sage leaves. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
  4. Simmer soup 1 - 1½ hours until chickpeas are very tender and creamy. Remove from heat, remove rosemary and sage leaves, and allow to cool slightly before pureeing.
  5. Puree soup in pot using an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or conventional blender.
  6. For the mushroom garnish, heat 1 T. olive oil in saute pan over medium-high heat. Add Crimini mushrooms, saute until they have released liquid and are dark brown. Add soaked Porcini mushrooms and garlic, season with salt. Add Marsala, allow mushrooms to absorb. Remove from heat, season with black pepper, some chopped rosemary and parsley.
  7. Meanwhile, reheat pureed soup, thinning with Porcini soaking water. Season with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice if acidity is needed.
  8. Ladle soup into warmed bowls. Top with sauteed mushrooms and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.
Recipe by strawberryplum at