The humble chickpea is enormously popular in Italy, especially for soups. Here, in this Tuscan specialty, it's joined by tomatoes, macaroni, Swiss-chard leaves and a generous quantity of garlic.
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6 cups drained and rinsed canned chickpeas (three 19-ounce cans)
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock, more if needed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Puree half of the chickpeas with 1 1/2 cups of the broth in a blender or food processor. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, the pureed chickpeas, whole chickpeas, bay leaf, red-pepper flakes, tomatoes, tubetti, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard to the pot. Simmer until the chard is tender and the pasta is done, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the black pepper. If the soup thickens too much on standing, stir in more broth or water.
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