Start to finish: 2 hours 30 minutes
Salt and pepper
1 pound (2 3/4 cups) dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 fennel bulbs, stalks discarded, bulbs halved, cored, and chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 cups vegetable broth
1 Parmesan cheese rind, plus I cup grated Parmesan for serving
2 bay leaves
1 (3-inch) strip orange zest
1 head escarole (1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 4 quarts cold water in large container. Add chickpeas and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add fennel, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables are softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in 7 cups water, broth, drained chickpeas, Parmesan rind, bay leaves, and orange zest and bring to boil. Reduce to gentle simmer and cook until chickpeas are tender, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours.
Stir in escarole and tomato and cook until escarole is wilted, 5 to 10 minutes.
Off heat, remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind (scraping off any cheese that has melted and adding it back to pot). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual portions with grated Parmesan, drizzle with extra oil, and serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 455 calories; 120 calories from fat; 13 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 11 mg cholesterol; 435 mg sodium; 65 g carbohydrate; 16 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 23 g protein.
For more recipes, cooking tips and ingredient and product reviews, visit https://www.americastestkitchen.com. Find more recipes like Sicilian Chickpea and Escarole Soup in “All-Time Best Soups .”
America’s Test Kitchen provided this article to The Associated Press.