Leek and Chickpea Soup

Zuppa di Porri e Ceci

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

How to Cook Italian

How to Cook Italian

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2005

  • About


  • 3 to 4 medium leeks
  • 2 ounces pancetta, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 to 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • cups drained canned chickpeas
  • 5 cups homemade meat broth or ½ each beef and chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 5 cups water
  • 6 ounces tubetti or another small pasta suitable for soup
  • ¼ cup freshly grated pecorino romano


  1. Trim the root ends and dark green tops from the leeks. Cut the leeks lengthwise in half (or in quarters if they are more than 1 inch thick), then slice them crosswise in ½-inch chunks. Place the cut leeks in a large bowl of cold water and swish them around to loosen any dirt that is clinging to them.
  2. Unravel the pancetta and cut into thin strips. Put the pancetta and olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta just begins to brown.
  3. While the pancetta is sautéing, peel and finely chop the garlic and coarsely chop enough of the sage and rosemary leaves to get 1 teaspoon of each.
  4. When the pancetta begins browning, add the garlic and herbs. Stir for about 30 seconds. Lift the leeks from the bowl of water and add them to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chickpeas and broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the soup simmers, cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until the pasta is done. Serve at once, sprinkling some grated pecorino on top of each serving.


You can make this soup through step 5 up to 2 days in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat the soup before proceeding.