Minestrone & Socca.

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In the series of  easy and satisfying Saturday soups I now present the magnicifenct minestrone. This was what we had two weeks ago, with socca – a savoury mediterranean chickpea flatbread or pancake stemming from the French and Italian Riviera – on the side. At the end of lunchtime, everything was gone!

Let’s not waste any words on describing how very, very simple and delicious this is – here come the recipes.

 

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Minestrone & Socca.

Minestrone

Ingredients

  • 150 g uncooked Puy lentils, rinsed (if you prefer borlotti or cannellini beans, or a blend of both lentils and beans, go ahead) + 3x the volume in water, for cooking
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 can finely chopped tomatoes (or the equivalent of fresh ones, ca. 400g)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ca. 6 – 7 cups vegetable broth (1,5- 1,75 l)
  • 1/2 cup tiny pasta shapes (vermicelli or alphabet pasta, or whatever at hand)

Directions

  • Boil the lentils in a separate pot. You don’t want to add them straight to the pot in which you’re preparing the soup, for otherwise they’ll add a murkish brown hue to your soup – and you do not want this, right? So boil them separately, drain and rinse them again, and then add them to the – bright red – soup in the final stage..
  • Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the finely chopped carrots and celery. After some minutes, pour in the broth, tomatoes and tomato pastetogether with the bay leaves and rosemary.

Socca

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour or besan (there is actually a slight difference between the two; what I use is this besan or gram flour which I procure from an Asian store. This is a versatile, ingredient and very practical ingredient to have in a vegan kitchen, as it can quite often function as an egg substitute in a wide range of recipes, from quiche, omelette, to even cookies).
  • 1 cup water (one can increase and decrease the volume of water, depending on the thickness of the flatbread you would like to achieve).
  • 1-2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • herbs and seasonings of your choice; I used a TB of an Italian herb blend, which also contains some extra salt, and also added a garlic clove or two.

Directions

  • Gradually mix in the water into the besan, careful not to make any lumps. Whisk until you have a smooth batter, and then add the olive oil, salt and the optional herbs.
  • Let the batter rest for at least half an hour, but preferably longer. (Do NOT taste the batter in the meantime. Gram flour has a very distinct, raw flavour when uncooked, so refrain from pre-tasting, as it will only disappoint you. Not so much the final result, though. So practice some patience here.)
  • Pour the liquid into a skillet and bake. — Traditionally socca is oven-baked and broiled, but since I do not have any oven-proof skillets, I just use my stove. And that works fine too.

If you google images of socca, you will find that a socca’s thickness can range from several mm, to quite thin. The one I made kind of occupied the middle ground between those two extremes.

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One thought on “Minestrone & Socca.

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