Mussel and Chick Pea Soup with Fennel and Lemon (gf)

Adapted from the New Italian Kitchen by Ethan Stowell and Leslie Miller, Ten Speed Press.

2 t extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
pinch chili flakes
1½ lb fresh mussels, debearded and scrubbed
1 c white wine
1 c chickpeas (pre-soaked)
1 sm bulb fennel, tough outer leaves removed, sliced
salt and fresh-cracked pepper
juice of 1 lemon
3 T chopped fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat; add the garlic and chili flakes. Before the garlic colours, add the mussels and white wine. Increase the heat to high, cover, and let the mussels steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they just open. Discard any mussels that don’t open and transfer the others to a baking dish with any cooking liquid that is in the pan. Set in the refrigerator until cool enough to handle. Once cool, remove the mussels from the shells, and discard the shells. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the mussels, cooking liquid, chickpeas and sliced fennel and heat through. The fennel should retain a bit of a bite. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and parsley.

Serves 2-4.