ZUPPA DI FAVE SECCHE CON CICORIA E OLIO TARTUFATO or FAVA BEAN SOUP WITH CATALOGNA CHICORY AND WHITE TRUFFLE OIL

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Today my oldest friend (not in age because I’m 4 days older, something that amused me immensely when I was very much younger, it has somehow lost it’s importance now, I wonder why?) is coming here. We met when we were 10 and for a very long time she was my best friend in that exclusive way friendships tend to be at certain ages. Now she is one of my best friends because I’m fortunate enough to have widened my circle of best friends and that is really something I treasure, living abroad. Old friends have become much more important to me since I moved here, not in the way that I have to keep in touch all the time but more as a reassurance; they exist, they have known me for a long time in my natural habitat so that there is no need for explanations when I behave in a certain way and they know my past. It is not as if my past is particularly interesting or sordid or anything, it’s just feels so good that they have seen me progress through my life and still want to be my friends, that makes me feel very lucky indeed. Don’t you agree with me that most (not all) of the important words in life begins with an f? Food, friends and family.

This is a soup based on a traditional Apulian recipe. I love Puglia as it is called in Italy, it is a beautiful region (the heel of Italy) and I especially love Salento, the very tip of the heel. The light is incredible, the people is cool and very friendly and the food is wonderful! This recipe is originally a purée which is served with Catalonian chicory and sometimes with fried bread as well but I changed it a bit, I made it into a thick soup, I chopped the chicory and I added a little olive oil scented with white truffle.

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ZUPPA DI FAVE SECCHE CON CICORIA E OLIO TARTUFATO or FAVA BEAN SOUP WITH CATALOGNA CHICORY AND WHITE TRUFFLE OIL
2-3 servings

200 g / 7 1/4 oz dried white fava beans
2 medium sized potatoes
1 celery stalk
1 onion
50 g / 1 3/4 oz Catalonian chicory or some other slightly bitter green leaves
garlic
white truffle scented olive oil
black pepper
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

– Let the fava beans soak for 12 hours.
– Rinse the beans, put them in a pan and cover with fresh water. Add salt, the celery stalk and the onion.
– Peel the potatoes and dice them before adding them to the beans. Let it simmer until they begin to get mushy. Add more water if needed.
– While the beans are simmering, you boil the chicory in salted water. When they are tender, you drain them and then you sauté it with some garlic in olive oil. Chop it and put it aside.
– When the beans begin to be mushy, you take out the onion and the celery stalk. (Use it for something else or throw it on the compost heap) Now it’s time to stir with force, round and round. The purpose of it is to reduce the beans and the potatoes to a smooth cream.
– When it has become and creamy and has reached the consistency you like (I like my soups thick), you add as much black pepper as you want.

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