November 2015, there was a show cooking held by Simone Rugiati, a young italian chef, in a shopping center not so far from my hometown. Me and my boyfriend we both loved him, so how could we miss the show?
It was for free and I’d surely have learnt something right? Well, yes, I was right. I still remember what he said: “Our grandparents and great-grandparents usually ate stodge and worked hard in the fields. They were not like us, they did not sat all day on a chair and we should adjust their recipes in a healthier way, there’s nothing bad.” – not the exact words but that’s the concept.
So this is my idea: I want to re-make old traditional italian recipes – so you my international friends can become familiar with them – in a lighter version.
Please remember I do not mean to substitute the original ones and if you eat the heavier recipe once in a while I promise you will survive (eheh).
Today I’m sharing the first recipe, a vegan soup made with chickling/grass peas typical of Umbria region, central Italy.
This legume has the highest content in protein of all legumes (26-30 gr in 100 gr), a thick skin and requires lengthy soaking. It’s high in fibers, minerals and vitamins but try not to exaggerate, because it has a neurotoxin that could be stodgy.
One of you my friends, suggested: “A friend of mine from Murge – a litte area in southern Italy – told me we should shell the grass peas, since the skin is thick and not so easy to digest. It takes time but it’s not that difficult. In this way you can also reduce cooking time.”
Ingredienti: (two/three servings)
- Organic chickling peas, 160 gr (I used these ones, I loved them)
- Homemade tomato sauce, five tablespoons
- Extravirgin olive oil, two tablespoons and a half
- Water, one tablespooon
- Garlic, half a clove or one small
- Parsley, few leaves
- Lesser calamint (I omitted but it’s in the original recipe)
- Generous water
Believe me, this vegan soup is a bit long to do and requires some work, but it’s worth it. You’ll need almost 24 hours overall.
First step is soaking the grass peas overnight or better for 22/24 hours. The following day, rinse them off and throw them in plentiful cool water (without salt). Bring to a boil, cook for two hours (or 40 minutes in the pression cooker) and drain. In a saucepan, cook for few seconds the minced garlic in oil and a tablespoon of water. Add the grass peas, the tomato sauce, salt, pepper and let them cook for some minutes. Finally add parsley, lesse calamint and enough water to cover (even more) and continue cooking very slowly for one hour, stirring once in a while. Serve immediately or in store in the fridge for the day after.