Monday, 2 January 2017

Recipes from Rome - Chestnut & Chickpea Soup

January isn't my favourite month. The days are dark and damp and everyone seems to be on a diet. This luxuriosly textured soup, bursting with good ingredients, helps to lift the spirits.

The recipe is from Rachel Roddy's column in Guardian Cook. Rachel uses fresh chestnuts from the market. 

Sadly we are not in Testaccio and cannot frequent the wonderful mercato but a trip to Morrisons provides the next best thing, a bag of Italian chestnuts.

You will, of course, have remembered to soak the chickpeas overnight.

They are drained and cooked the next day whilst preparing the other ingredients.

The chestnuts are roasted, not over an open fire but less prosaically in the oven.

It pays to enlist help with the peeling - they are HOT!

The aroma as the onion, celery and rosemary are gently fried is amazing.

The chick peas and cooking water are added to the pan, joined a little later by the chestnuts. Blending the soup gives that glorious velvety texture.
There is a quicker version of this soup using tinned chick peas and ready cooked chestnuts which I will try. Somehow, however, I think that investing the time in soaking and roasting is probably worth it.

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