Cheesy Pasta and Chickpea Soup

¼ cup Vera Jane's Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 lb Prosciutto di Parma, diced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1½ tsp rosemary, chopped
(1) 28-oz can plum tomatoes
(2) 15-oz cans chickpeas
4 cups Bowman and Landes Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
(1) 4-inch square Trentingrana rind
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup small pasta tubes
Grated Trentingrana (for garnish)

Place 3-quart soup kettle over medium heat. Add olive oil, Prosciutto di Parma, red onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

Place tomatoes and their juice into a food processor and chop coarsely. Add to the sautéed vegetables along with the drained chickpeas, chicken broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, and Trentingrana rind. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.

Simmer soup for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the softened Trentingrana rind, cut it into ¼-inch cubes, and return to soup.

Approximately 10 minutes before serving, add pasta to simmering soup. When pasta is al dente, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle generously with freshly grated Trentingrana. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 — 6 servings

Allergy Warning: Contains Milk

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