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    Soup of spare ribs and chick peas

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    Soup of spare ribs and chick peas

    This soup, which is much loved by southern Italian farmers, is not only cheap to produce, but tasty and rewarding, too. Using tinned chick peas avoids hours of soaking and cooking. Try to choose very meaty spare ribs to give this soup plenty of body.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 110 minutes to 120 minutes
    • Total time: 140 hours to 150 hours

    Serves: 4


    • 5 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
    • 800g Meaty pork spare ribs, separated
    • 2 Celery stalks, finely chopped
    • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 Medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
    • 10 Sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
    • 3 x 400g tins Chick peas, drained
    • ½ Red chilli, finely chopped
    • 4 Basil leaves, shredded


    1. Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the spare ribs, browning each side. Leave in the pan. Add all the chopped fresh vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes.
    2. Add 1.5 litres water and bring to the boil. Simmer over a medium heat for 1 hour, then scoop off and discard the fat from the top of the liquid. You could also chill the soup overnight at this point. If you take this option, scrape off and discard the solidified fat before gently reheating and continuing with the recipe. Add the chick peas, chilli and basil. Cook until the meat is tender, about another 30–40 minutes, adding a little water if it looks as though it needs more liquid.
    3. Season with a little salt and pepper, pour into bowls, drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil and serve.

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    Drinks recommendation

    This rustic southern Italian classic is perfectly complemented by a robust blend of primitivo and merlot. Da Luca Primitivo/Merlot 2007/08 Tarantino, Puglia, Italy. Bin 94293; £6.99.


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