Chickpeas and chard soup (zemin di ceci)

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Chickpeas and chard soup recipe from the Italian Riviera


Chickpeas and chard soup is a classic fall recipe of the Italian Riviera.  As you know in the past peasants used to cook lots of pulses in their every-day meals.  Meat was always lacking and it was saved for feast days. Pulses – as chickpeas – stead were cheap, highly nourishing and easy to store for the winter times. Chard, on their hands, in the Italian Riviera grew spontaneously in the fields also in winter time.

This soup came to my mind yesterday because yesterday the Autumn cold eventually knocked at our doors.

Two days ago everybody here was complaining about the weather saying that such a hot November was indeed wire and rare. Well, no sooner said than done! Our chilliest and strongest wind coming straight from the mountains behind Genoa and called Tramontana started blowing at night. Yesterday morning we woke up and the temperature had dropped of 10 degrees, the air had become crisp, the sky clear blue, the threes almost naked.

In days like these when you walk down the streets  blades of cold wind assault you. They enter your coat – anyway – from the sleeves up to the armpit, from the neck down to the underwear. Nobody is safe and warm enough. Neither at home where Tramontana enters  from the splits of the windows or from the fireplace hoods. For those who moves by moto (as I do) Tramontana  means loosing the touch at the  fingers and a clinically frozen nose.

At the end of day spent  fighting this way, I swear, what you desire most is a heavy wool blanket  and a hot, rich and healthy soup, like a chickpeas and chard soup. Here is my family recipe. Hope you will enjoy, keep calm and stay warm!


traditional chickpeas and chard soup recipe from the Italian Riviera



traditional chickpeas and chard soup from the Italian Riviera

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Ciao! I’m Enrica

a home cook, food researcher and experience curator bred and born in Liguria.
I study, tell, cook, share and teach Ligurian cuisine and the culture surrounding it.
Here we celebrate Liguria’s gastronomic diversity and richness through its recipes, producers, traditions and shops.

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