Zuppa di Ceci with Crispy Fried Sage

Serves 4

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 head cauliflower roughly chopped
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup Bellucci Organic 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 6 to 8 sage leaves
  • Bellucci Organic 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to finish

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, cauliflower, fennel to the baking sheet then drizzle with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 1 hour, stirring halfway through.

2. Add the chickpeas, stock and roasted vegetables to a large pot or dutch oven along with an additional 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, then simmer covered for 30 minutes.

3. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend until very smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

4. To make the crispy sage, add the remaining ¼ cup of the olive oil to a small skillet. When it starts to bubble slightly, add the sage leaves and fry until the leaves are no longer sizzling. Transfer the leaves to a paper towel to drain.

5. Finish the soup with the crispy sage and a fresh drizzle of Bellucci Extra Virgin Olive Oil, preferably Organic Toscano PGI.

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