Chickpea Soup with Rosemary Croutons and Swiss Chard

Bill Telepan

Telepan - NYC

As the executive chef of Wellness in the Schools, Bill Telepan has been revamping public school cafeterias across New York City for nearly a decade. Here he shares one of his WITS Café Day recipes, a hearty soup full of vibrant vegetables that's a far cry from mystery meat.


Chickpea Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 of a small yellow onion
, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • One 14-ounce can tomatoes, drained, squeezed by hand in a strainer, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound chickpeas, soaked overnight

  • 8 cups chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced celery (chickpea-size dice)

  • 3/4 cup finely diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup finely diced leeks
  • 1 bunch (10 ounces) Swiss chard
, stems removed and roughly chopped 
  • Salt and pepper

Rosemary Croutons:

  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 thin slices sourdough bread or Ciabatta


Make the soup: in a pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions and the garlic; cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and stock; cook until tender, about 30 minutes.

In another pot, heat the extra virgin olive oil. Add the celery, carrots, and a few pinches of salt; cook over medium heat, covered, for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are still crunchy and half-cooked. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about 4 more minutes.

When the chickpeas are tender, transfer half of the solids and stock to a blender. Purée until smooth. Return the purée to the soup pot. Add the chard, bring the soup to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, thin it out with a little chicken stock. Keep warm until serving.

Make the croutons: preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine the rosemary and olive oil. Place the bread on a sheet pan. Drizzle the rosemary–oil mixture over the bread slices. Season the bread with salt; toast in the oven until completely crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

After the croutons have cooled, divide the soup among serving bowls. Garnish each serving with a few croutons and drizzle with olive oil.


6 cups