2 teaspoons olive oil
2 slices pancetta or bacon, chopped fine
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
4 oregano sprigs
A pinch of dried chile flakes (optional)
4 garlic cloves
2 cups cooked chickpeas, canned or prepared from dried
2 cups chickpea cooking liquid (see note below)
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 bunch broccoli rabe
A Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta; cook for 3 minutes; and then add the carrots, celery, onion, oregano, and chile flakes. Cook, stirring now and then, until soft and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Turn down the heat if the vegetables start to brown too quickly.
When the vegetables are cooked, add the salt, garlic, and cooked chickpeas. Cook for a few minutes, and then pour in the chickpea cooking liquid and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim off and discard the woody stems from the broccoli rabe. Wash and drain, chop coarsely, and add to the soup. Cook for another 10 minutes. Test a large rabe stem. If it is not tender, cook the soup a few more minutes. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
Serve garnished with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Reprinted with permission from Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters, copyright (c) 2013. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.