This is one of those meals in a bowl in the tradition of stone soup. In fact in Portugal a version of this soup is called sopa de Pedra, after the folktale of the same name, where something wonderful is created out of very simple and inexpensive raw materials. Put the right humble ingredients together and what have you got? A great, soul-satisfying soup. Add some sausage and eliminate the pasta and you could be in Spain or Portugal.
Rinse the chick-peas and soak overnight in
Place half the chick-peas in a small pot and cover with
Place the remaining chick-peas, the pancetta, 2 whole cloves garlic, and half the onions in a larger pot. Add
Just before serving, cook the pasta in a medium pot of lightly salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the hot soup. Serve immediately, sprinkled with grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.