Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2In 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.
Step 3Reduce 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.
Step 4Bring 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.
Step 5Ten minutes before the chickpeas are done, tear the watercress into bite-size pieces, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until the chickpeas are done.
Step 6Add 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.
Vegan Brothy Baked Chickpeas With Mushrooms
Swap 8 ounces mushrooms for the soppressata, roughly chopped and cooked in a little olive oil until deeply caramelized, and toss in a pinch or two of crushed red chile flakes along with the garlic.