Chickpea Chestnut Soup (Zuppa di Ceci e Castagne)

Chickpea Chestnut Soup (Zuppa di Ceci e Castagne)

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Chickpea Chestnut Soup (Zuppa di Ceci e Castagne) is a delicious, hearty and healthy soup, traditional in many Regions of Central Italy. It is vegan and gluten-free and absolutely delectable.


  • 150 g (3/4 cup) dried chickpeas or 1 can chickpeas
  • 150-200 g boiled, peeled chestnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole, slightly smashed
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • Croutons for topping (g.f if you're going gluten-free)


  1. Soak the dried chickpeas with a touch of coarse salt overnight.
  2. The next day rinse them and add them to a pot with 2 cups of cold water.
  3. Add the bay leaf and a sprig of rosemary, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, or until tender. With a colander, drain them and set them aside, while keeping the cooking water.
  4. In another pot on the stove, add the fresh chestnuts and cold water, and boil for about half an hour. Allow to cool a bit, then peel, removing the tougher outer skin and the inner skin as well. (Do not wait till they are completely cold or they will be harder to peel).
  5. Crumble 3/4 of the chestnuts with your hands (leaving some whole or in chunks for final texture).
  6. Puree about half of the chickpeas and some of the water with a blender (it helps achieve the smooth, creamy texture).
  7. In another pot, add 2 tablespoons of e.v.o. oil, garlic, sage and rosemary. Add chili flakes, if using.
  8. Add the chickpeas, whole and pureed, the crumbled (and whole) chestnuts, salt and pepper.
  9. Pour the chickpea cooking liquid, and some more water, if necessary.
  10. Simmer for half an hour.
  11. Toss the croutons in a saute pan with e.v.o. oil, salt, pepper, rosemary until golden.
  12. Serve the soup in a bowl with a little drizzle of olive oil, some freshly ground black pepper, and the toasted croutons.


The total time includes the soaking of the dried chickpeas (12 hours), and the cooking of the chickpeas (2 hours) and chestnuts (half an hour).

To considerably reduce the times, use canned chickpeas and packaged cooked and peeled chestnuts. The steps of the preparation are in the body of the post.

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