Friday, June 13, 2014

Cavolo nero soup with chickpeas and pasta

A low fat, high protein vegan dish

1 bunch of cavolo nero
1 shallot
1.5 l vegetable stock
1 can chickpeas
plus the same amount of water
1 cup of small pasta 
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Wash the cavolo nero and remove the white stalks. Slice the shallot. Put everything in a pot with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the content of the can of chick peas, plus a can of water. Simmer for other 30 minutes then blend with an immersion blend, but not too finely, leave some of the chickpeas whole. Bring back to the boil, add the pasta and simmer until the pasta is al dente. Taste for salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil before serving. It is actually better the day after!

And these are the bananas from my garden. I have another bunch on the tree, even greener. But they came a bit late this year and I a ma not sure how to make them ripe now. Any suggestions?

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Le banane in giardino, che invidia! Una confettura con il mango? O la più classica banana, arancia e cioccolato?

  2. Ciao Giorgia, il problema è che è venuto freddo e sono rimaste verdi, di solito le stacco e dopo un po' maturano, ma queste ci stanno mettendo troppo mi sa, e ne ho un altro cespo attaccato al banano in giardino… verdissime!

  3. hello Alessandra, this is cut and paste from a web site called "Home Ever After"... Hope it helps.. xxx

    How to Ripen Green Bananas Fast

    When you are buying unripe bananas at the grocery store, ask the cashier at checkout for a full-sized paper grocery bag.
    1.Once home, put the green bananas into the paper bag.
    2.Close the top of the paper bag and roll it down to keep it from opening back up.
    3.Keep rolling the paper bag down until you reach the bananas.

    The goal here is to make sure that there is as little empty space inside the paper bag as possible. You can put more than one bunch of bananas in the bag at the same time. In fact, this will even speed up the ripening process.

    Why it Works

    Here’s why this trick works to ripen your unripe produce. Bananas (and many other fruits) give off a gas called ethylene gas. Ethylene gas is a plant hormone that causes “growth”. What this means for produce is that any fruits or vegetables exposed to ethylene gas will have accelerated ripening. You can use ethylene gas to your advantage in certain cases, by allowing it to ripen fruits and vegetables that were picked before their prime.

    Produce that gives off ethylene gas itself can be enclosed in a container or bag, and essentially trapped in the gas it produces to speed up ripening.

    Fruits and vegetables that do not produce ethylene gas can also benefit from this method. To ripen them, simply place them in a bag or container with an ethylene gas producing fruit or vegetable, such as bananas, apples, peaches, avocados, pineapples or tomatoes.

  4. Thank you Carrie, I don't have a paper bag big enough for the whole bunch but I will cut it up in little bunches and try!

  5. I love chickpeas Alessandra, how are you all dear??

  6. Hi Alessandra, I made this soup tonight, thanks. I wish I'd doubled the recipe so we can have some tomorrow - it's delicious! What a tasty way to eat greens and chickpeas. Thank you. Frances

  7. Hi Alessandra,

    I am an American/Taiwanese and I live in Italy right now, I was wondering if you know where I can get cavolo nero during the summer. I've only seen it during the winter, but I love making green smoothies and cooking kale soup. I got some at the fioricultura but very small ;-)
    Grazie mille! xxx

    1. Hi Catt, thank you for your comment, but I don't know where to get cavolo nero in Italy in Summer: you see, I live in New Zealand and now it is winter here! :-)



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