Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Feels like winter. Chocolate and chickpeas then.

First off...

thirty steps to chocolate connoisseurship, from the Guardian. Scroll down about a third of the way to hit the thirty steps.

I cooked up a wintry chickpea soup today, to cope with the terrible weather. This one is taken from "Made in Italy", and adapted slightly to my pantry.

To make the base, you'll need, a chopped stalk of celery, a sprig of Rosemary, some sage leaves, 2 bay leaves, and about 250g of chickpeas. If dried, soak them overnight and drain, if canned, wash thoroughly before use. 4 cloves of garlic, crushed.

Put everything in a pot, cover with about twice the amount of water as chickpeas, splash in a little olive oil, and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Fish out the herbs, remove the chickpeas, and reserve the cooking water. There's no need to add salt at present.

Next, you will need about 150g of chopped pancetta (you can use streaky bacon if you are stuck, I used my home cured bacon), another stalk of finely chopped celery, and two finely chopped onions - 1 red. Heat up a skillet, add some extra-virgin olive oil, and gently fry off all of the above until they are soft. Should take 5-10 minutes. Add about two thirds of the chickpeas to this mix, and blitz them in a food processor until they are finely ground. Add the reserved cooking water to get the consistency you need - I added about 200ml to get a fairly thick soup.

To finish - fry off some small cubes of pancetta until golden brown. Chop up some rosemary and sage. Reheat the soup mix, and taste and adjust for seasoning. It should be quite salty already, from the pancetta. and plate it. Sprinkle with the cubed pancetta, the reserved chickpeas, and the herbs. Generously drizzle with olive oil. Grind some pepper. Serve with a plain bread, and olive oil on the side.

An authentic taste of Northern Italy, and a soup hearty enough to ward off the winter chill. Food for the soul, eh?
Sorry about the formatting. I have learned to hate blogger.
And thanks to Laura over at eat drink live. Check out her well formatted and photographed soup for a fantastic borlotti bean recipe.

1 comment:

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