Tuscan Recipes

For the chick pea soup
350  gm chick peas
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
4 shallots ,thinly sliced
1 carrot, roughly chopped
4 dessertspoons olive oil
A sprig of fresh thyme
A sprig of fresh rosemary
3 fresh sage leaves
2 litres water

For the vegetable tartare
1/2 sick celery
1/2 courgette
1/2 carrot
2 shallots
1/2 red pepper
15 fresh leaves basil
50 ml olive oil
salt and pepper

For decoration
4 basil leaves fried in the little olive oil

Soak the stick chick peas for 12 hours or overnight, rinse and put them in the saucepan with 2 liters of water .

Add the carrot and the  celery and pinch of salt and simmer for 1 and  half hours. While the chick peas are cooking, gently fry the shallot in the little olive oil with the thyme leaves, rosemary  needles and sage leaves.

Drain the cooked chick peas over a bowl keeping the cooking water for later. Add the chick peas to the shallot and herbs, add 3 or 4 ladles of cooking water and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Blend into a smooth cream or “veloute” using a hand-held blender, adding  a little more cooking water if necessary.

To make the vegetable tartare,wash and trim all the vegetables, then cut them into small, similar sized cubes. Place the remaining ingredients- the fresh basil leaves, olive oil and salt and pepper-in a tall jug and blend using a hand-held blender.
Dress the vegetable with the basil oil.

Put a small amount of the vegetable tartare in the middle of each of your serving bowls. Its best to use a small metal ring to help keep the vegetables together and create a neater shape. Pour the chick pea veloute around the vegetable tartare, decorate with the fried basil leaves and serve.


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