Any kind of lightly smoked or spicy cured meat will work here, so if you have a couple leftover slices of thick-cut bacon or ham, feel free to use them in place of the soppressata. Similarly, you can treat any type of canned beans this way though they may fall apart more than the sturdier chickpeas.
Brothy Baked Chickpeas With Chilled Lemon Watercress
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large oven-proof skillet or low-sided Dutch oven, heat the soppressata over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until it renders most of its fat and becomes slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salami to a plate, leaving the fat in the skillet. Add the olive oil to the skillet.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic cloves, and cook, stirring, until all the vegetables are soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in the reserved soppressata, the stock, chickpeas, rosemary and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper.
Bring the stock to a simmer, then cover the skillet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and continue baking until the liquid is reduced by one-third and the chickpeas are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes more.
Ten minutes before the chickpeas are done, tear the watercress into bite-size pieces, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until the chickpeas are done.
Add the lemon juice to the cold watercress and quickly toss together with your fingers. Remove the skillet from the oven, and immediately serve the hot chickpeas and broth in bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan, if you like, then topped with the chilled watercress. Sprinkle each serving with a pinch of sea salt and serve with bread, if you like.