Tag Archives: Florence

Dinner in Florence: Crema di Ceci con Farro e Funghi Porcini (Puréed Chickpea Soup with Farro and Porcini Mushrooms)

Deep, flavorful, tomato-rich, mushroomy goodness.

Continuing on last week’s theme of Florentine cuisine I have followed up this week with a delicious chickpea purée, farro, and porcini mushroom soup. The soup’s flavor is deep and delicious, simply elegant and timelessly balanced…just like Florence itself. Enjoy with a nice glass of chianti and a crusty, rustic Italian loaf of bread.

Ingredients:

For the Purée

1 can of cooked chickpeas

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped

1 small, fresh rosemary sprig

1 tablespoon of tomato paste or one cup of prepared tomato bruscetta (from Trader Joe’s or a similar purveyor)

salt and freshly cracked black pepper

4 cups of vegetable stock or water

1/3 cup of farro

For the Mushrooms

1 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces of dried porcini mushrooms

1 clove of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of dry white wine

1 cup of water

1 fresh thyme sprig

salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons of butter

Preparation:

In a large sauté heat the olive oil to just under smoking, add the onion, garlic, and whole rosemary spring and brown over medium/medium-high heat for about 6 minutes.

Add the tomato paste or bruscetta.

Stir thoroughly to comine

Add the canned chickpeas and their cooking juices

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about three minutes.

Add the water or stock and return to a simmer, simmer until the flavors have melded over medium heat...about 30 minutes.

Transfer the chickpea mixture to a blender

Purée in the blender until completely liquified and smooth.

Return the purée to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the farro and stir in. Simmer over medium heat for about 25 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile prepare the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a large pan to just under smoking over medium/medium-high heat. Add the dried mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes until slightly browned.

Deglaze the pan by adding the cup of water, taking care to scrape all the flavorful brown bits off the pan. Simmer the water away over medium heat until the water is absorbed by the mushrooms

add the white wine and continue to cook over medium heat until...

The mushrooms are softened and smell very good.

Add the mushrooms to the simmering soup and farro

At the end of 25 minutes the farro should be al dente and the mushrooms should be diffusing their flavor into the tomato/chickpea purée. Serve at once.

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