Grano, polished durum wheat, is new to the United States (to find out more about it, visit www.sunnylandmills.com). The grain stays pleasantly chewy after cooking--a nice contrast to soft chickpeas. If you have trouble finding grano, substitute wheat berries that have been soaked overnight or pearled barley.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 quarts water
1 cup grano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
How to Make It
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and 2 garlic cloves; sauté 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato paste. Add wine; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water, grano, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon basil, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Combine the cheese, parsley, 2 tablespoons basil, and 1 garlic clove. Ladle 1 1/3 cups soup into each of 6 bowls. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil; top each serving with about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture. Yield: 6 servings.