One of the elements of the Tuscan cuisine that most fascinates me and makes me proud is that there are just a few rules, but they are to be regarded as a dogma. These rules describe concisely – through the pairing of ingredients, herbs and spices – our culinary culture and Nature’s seasons. These rules are interpreted by every family, according to their personal tastes and likes.
If the rosemary – intense and camphorated with a distant incense smell – traditionally marries beautifully with roast meat, baked potatoes and grilled meats, for us its flavour calls for chickpeas and a hearty sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.
The cooking of chickpeas is apparently long, but actually it does not require any kind of assistance. If you organize yourself the night before to soak the legumes overnight, you can cook them the day after without too much trouble. No bans, however, to use pre-cooked chickpeas, provided they are of excellent quality… I recently converted to the legumes cooked in strict accordance to the rules, though, and I have to admit that there is no comparison, especially in simple preparations, where the flavour and the texture of the chickpeas are the protagonists.
The chickpea soup is one of the dishes that most reminds me of autumn, one of the first dishes that, with its warmth and creaminess, sign the passage to the season during which coming back home and finding a hot soup is synonymous of family.
Chickpeas soup with cod
- 2 cups of dried chickpeas
- 1 pinch of baking soda
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- black pepper
- croutons or dried cod to serve
- Soak the chickpeas for 24 hours in warm water with a pinch of baking soda.
- After this time, rinse the chickpeas and put them into a large pot with cold water and a pinch of salt over low heat.
- Cook them until tender: it will depend on the quality of legumes you choose, it can go from 30 minutes up to over an hour - removing often the foam on the surface with a slotted spoon.
- Let them cool down in their cooking water.
- Drain the chickpeas and blend them in a liquidizer with 1/2 of a ladleful of their cooking water.
- Heat 1 clove of garlic and a sprig of rosemary in a saucepan with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil: when the garlic begins to color and the rosemary to release it essential oils, before it starts to brown, pour in the chickpeas purée, stir and let it simmer a few minutes.
- You can serve it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and a handful of nicely toasted croutons. If you're searching for a more filling dish, serve the chickpeas purée with torn grilled fillet of cod.