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If you’re looking for a satisfying, rustic, and delicious soup, you’re going to love this chickpea and pork rib soup. It’s easy to prepare and slow cooks until the pork is fall-off-the-bone-tender. It’s perfect to serve any time of year!
Table of Contents
- What is All Saints Day?
- How to Make Pork Soup with Chickpeas
- How to Serve Pork Soup for All Saints’ Day
- Expert Tips
- More Delicious Soup Recipes
- Looking for Bone-In Pork Chops?
- Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List
- Kitchen Academy Videos
- More Kitchen Pioneer Videos
- Chickpea and Pork Rib Soup Recipe Recipe
- Amazon Shop and Shopping Guide
- Shop for items used in this blog post or video
This hearty pork soup recipe, also called Ceci con le Costine, hails from Northern Italy, where it’s served up on All Saints Day. It’s definitely a delicious soup that makes a hearty meal and maybe brings a little good fortune your way! 😊
What is All Saints Day?
When November 1st rolls around, we celebrate All Saints’ Day, which is part of the Triduum of Allhaollowtide that includes:
- October 31 – All Hallows’ Eve
- November 1 – All Saints’ Day
- November 2 – All Souls’ Day
Christian cultures around the world celebrate this Triduum. And in my home, that means Ceci con le Costine—or Chickpea with Pork Ribs Soup—a Northern Italian specialty. Legend holds that if you eat this soup on November 1, you will be blessed with good fortune and protection! 😉
Find the full printable recipe with measurements below.
To make this chickpea soup with pork, you will need:
- Chickpeas: This recipe uses dried chickpeas, also known as “ceci” or garbanzo beans. Make sure you wash and soak them overnight. However, you can substitute cooked or canned chickpeas if you prefer, but add them in at the end of the cooking time.
- Fat: We will be using a combination of clarified butter and lard to brown the pork chops. (Instead of buying prepackaged lard, you can learn how to make lard at home with my step-by-step tutorial on rendering pork fat.)
- Pork: You can use thick-cut, bone-in pork chops, meaty pork bones, or pork spare ribs to make this soup.
- Veggies: Yellow onions, carrots, celery, and garlic are added for flavor and as part of the soup.
- Seasoning: Dried bay leaves, thyme, and red pepper flakes are easy to season your pot of soup.
- White vermouth: This adds a bit of acidity to the soup. If you don’t have it, you can substitute white wine or water.
- Tomatoes: Use chopped fresh tomatoes if you’ve got them, or to save time, you can use canned tomatoes.
- Greens: You’ve got lots of options. This soup is excellent with any greens, including kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, or lettuce.
- Bread: Day-old bread works best to make the rustic croutons served with this soup.
- Topping: Use freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for the best flavor and fresh parsley for a splash of color.
How to Make Pork Soup with Chickpeas
Find the full printable recipe with steps below.
This soup recipe from scratch takes a little time to make, but most of it is hands-off! Here are the main steps.
Step 1 – Dredge the pork chops in flour and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
Step 2 – Cook the pork chops in a heated pan with the lard and butter, browning both sides.
Step 3 – Add the soaked chickpeas, onions, carrots, and celery to the pot.
PRO TIP: If you’re using cooked or canned chickpeas, wait to add them to the pot along with the greens later on in the recipe.
Step 4 – Smear the garlic on top of each pork chop.
Step 5 – Sauté the chickpeas and vegetables for a few minutes, and then add the white vermouth.
Step 6 – Add the bay leaves, thyme, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and chopped tomatoes to the pot.
Step 7 – Add water to cover the pork chops by about an inch. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cook covered on low for three hours.
Step 8 – Shred the pork chops into the soup and remove the bones. Alternatively, if you’re just serving two, you can leave the pork chops whole.
Step 9 – While the soup cooks, cook the croutons in a skillet with melted lard until they’re browned and crispy.
Step 10 – Add the shredded greens and simmer until the greens are tender.
PRO TIP: The simmering time will vary depending on the type of greens used. If using lettuce, simmer for only a few minutes, but if you’re using a sturdier green, such as kale, you will need to cook it for at least 10 minutes.
Step 11 – Ladle the soup into serving bowls and dot with croutons. Top the soup with a sprinkle of grated cheese and parsley. Enjoy!
How to Serve Pork Soup for All Saints’ Day
Now, when it comes to the specifics, I use bone-in, thick-cut pork chops instead of pork ribs because that is what my Mom did. It is definitely an abbondanza meal! An abundant meal—a meal of plenty.
Also, breaking with tradition, my Mom never shredded the pork into the soup, which is typical. Staying to her abbondanza way of life, she gave everyone their own pork chop. This is a hearty meal!
But you can certainly shred the pork chops into the soup, which is so easy to do after they’ve simmered for three hours.
This dish is pretty much an entire meal in a bowl! Feel free to add a simple salad with homemade dressing or bread when serving. You can try making homemade no-knead sourdough bread or simple yeast dinner rolls.
- Serving Tip. If keeping the pork chops whole, place a pork chop in each serving bowl, ladle the soup over the top, and then place the croutons around each pork chop so that they float in the soup.
- Make sure to use bone-in pork chops or pork ribs. The bones will flavor this slow-cooking soup as it cooks.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to four days, or freeze the soup for up to three months. Heat leftovers in a pot on the stove until heated through.
Using a bone-in roast makes this an easy soup to make, plus it doubles as a collagen rich bone broth!
Enjoy this nutritious and delicious soup made with bone broth.
Traditional Foods can be quick and easy from your pantry!
Make this tasty budget-friendly soup to help stretch your food dollars.
Looking for Bone-In Pork Chops?
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Chickpea and Pork Rib Soup Recipe
For the Soup
- 2 cups Dried chickpeas, washed and soaked overnight also known as "ceci" or garbanzo beans. You can substitute cooked or canned chickpeas, but add them in at the end of the cooking time.
- 2 tablespoons Clarified butter
- 2 tablespoons Lard
- 2 Thick-cut, bone-in pork chops or 1 pound (or more) meaty pork bones or pork spare ribs
- ¼ cup All-purpose flour or “Wondra” flour
- 2 Medium yellow onions, chopped
- 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 Celery Stalks, including tops, chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and diced small or pulverized in a mortar and pestle
- 2 Bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon Thyme, dried
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- ½ cup White vermouth or substitute white wine or water
- 2 cups Chopped tomatoes, canned can use 15-ounce can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 cup Shredded greens any greens will do, such as kale, swiss chard, beet greens, or lettuce
- Water, to cover pork chops by 1 inch
For the Croutons
- 3-4 cups Day old bread, cubed with or without the crusts
- 2 tablespoons Lard
- Salt, to taste
For the Soup Topping
- ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated can substitute Grana Padano
- 1 tablespoon Fresh parsley, chopped
For the Soup
- Heat the clarified butter and the lard in a large soup pot on medium heat.
- Dredge the pork chops in flour and shake off excess. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Once the butter and lard are sizzling, add the pork chops and brown on each side, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.
- Once the meat has browned on both sides, add the chickpeas, if soaked overnight but uncooked. If using cooked chickpeas, add these at the same time you add the 2 cups of shredded greens.
- Now, add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot.
- Next, smear the garlic on top of each pork chop.
- Allow the chickpeas and vegetables to sauté for a few minutes, then add the white vermouth.
- Next, add the bay leaves, thyme, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. And now, add the chopped tomatoes.
- Add approximately 6 cups of water to cover the pork chops by about 1 inch.
- Bring soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Allow the soup to simmer on low for 3 hours.
- After three hours, the pork should be very tender and falling off the bone. At this point, either shred the pork chops into the soup (and remove the bones), or if just serving two, leave the pork chops whole.
- Add the shredded greens. Also, if using cooked chickpeas (or canned chickpeas), add them now. Simmering time will vary depending on the type of greens used. If using lettuce, simmer for only a few minutes. If using a sturdier green such as kale, simmer for at least 10 minutes.
- Ladle soup into serving bowls and dot with croutons. Or, if pork chops have been kept whole, place a pork chop in each serving bowl and ladle with the soup. Dot the croutons around the pork chop so that they float in the soup.
- Top the soup with a sprinkle of grated cheese and parsley. Enjoy!
For the Croutons
- While the soup is simmering on low, make the croutons. Place the lard in a frying pan and melt it over medium heat.
- Once the lard is melted, add in one piece of the cubed bread. If it sizzles, the temperature is correct. If not, turn up the heat slightly and try in another minute to two with a second cube.
- Once the lard has come up to the proper temperature, toss in all the cubed bread and periodically toss them with a spoon or spatula until they are golden brown.
- Remove the croutons to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Set aside. Once you've ladled the soup into individual serving bowls, add some croutons to each bowl.
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