Thursday 4 December 2008

Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music, Ad Infinitum...

This is a little nod to my vegetarian readers and fellow bloggers. Thanks to Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi, the chef/patron of Ottolenghi in London. This recipe was first published in The Guardian's Weekend supplement.
Serves four to six.
Chickpea, tomato and bread soup

1 large onion, sliced
1 medium fennel, sliced
About 120ml olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled, cut along the centre and sliced3 sticks celery, sliced
1 tbsp tomato paste
250ml white wine
1 tin Italian plum tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp picked fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp caster sugar
2 bay leaves
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
160g stale sour dough bread (crust removed)
400g cooked chickpeas
4 tbsp basil pesto
1 handful fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put the onion and fennel in a big pot, add three tablespoons of oil and sauté on medium heat for four minutes. Add the carrot and celery, and cook for four minutes, just to soften the vegetables, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the wine and let it bubble away for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and their juices, herbs, sugar, bay, stock and season. Bring to a boil, then leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes.

While you wait, break the bread into rough chunks with your hands, toss with two tablespoons of oil and some salt, scatter in a roasting tray and bake for 10 minutes, until dry. Remove from the oven and set aside.

About 10 minutes before you want to serve, put the chickpeas in a bowl and crush them a little with a potato masher or the end of a rolling pin - you want quite a rough texture, with some chickpeas left whole and others completely mashed. Add the chickpeas to the soup and leave to simmer for five minutes. Finally, stir in the toasted bread, and cook for another five minutes.

Taste the soup, and add salt and pepper liberally. Pour the hot soup into shallow soup bowls, place a spoonful of pesto in the centre, drizzle with plenty of olive oil and finish with a generous scattering of freshly shredded basil.
Playlist to go with this dish
Amel Larrieux - Get Up
Esbjörn Svensson Trio - When God Created The Coffeebreak
Emiliana Torrini - Sunny Road
Mercan Dede - Istanbul
Talking Heads - Slippery People
Lhasa De Sela - Who By Fire

Copyright 2008


  1. i'll definitely be making this dish. chickpeas are one of my favorite food to eat.

    love amel and that song.

  2. Hay mi amigo! Esta vegetariana te manda un beso grandote!!!!

  3. Love this post,

    Food and music ad infinitum...sounds good to me!

    I've never been a big fan of chickpeas but that dish looks awesome!

    Peace to you brother, M

  4. Mmmm, Talking Heads and chickpeas-

  5. que potajasooo, si caes por Miami no te escapas de la cocina bro!

  6. Thank you all. I just realised that I did not put the dish's name :-):

    Chickpea, tomato and bread soup.

    But you 'd probably guessed that already.

    Greetings from London.

  7. Thanks, diva.

    Greetings from London.

  8. I love all the ingredients in this recipe! mmm, mmm, mmm. Combined with a great playlist, this makes for a great evening!

  9. Thanks, dutch. The music is as exquisite as the food indeed.

    Greetings from London.

  10. I love chick peas + a great playlist - thanks for sharing..:)

  11. Thanks, here, there.

    Greetings from London.

  12. Have just found your blog, for as a Londoner living in Mexico City I was interested to see what spin you would put on my hometown... and first viewing I found a great recipe... I just love chick peas so thanks!!

  13. yum, lets go see nirvana in heaven!!

  14. My mouth is watering. Yummy

  15. Ciao Cuban,

    cosa posso dire? io vedo la tua scelta di musica, e devo dire che tu hai un gusto ottimo per la musica!

    Mi permetto di consigliarti una canzone di Martina Topley-Bird, che porta il titolo Sandpaper Kisses.

    Se non la conosci, sono sicuro che ti piacera´.
    guarda qui:

    Saluti da Köln,

  16. Thank you all for your kind comments.

    Salva, adoro a Martina Topley-Bird. Tengo su primer disco 'Quixotic' y voy a comprar su segundo album muy pronto. Gracias.

    Greetings from London.

  17. forget wine pairings!

  18. Hahaha! Thanks, Cecile, you're right. Music pairings, that's what this section is all about.

    Greetings from London.

  19. Tuve a mi esposo clavado a la receta por un rato... qué hambre nos entró a los dos!!!!!

    Saludos desde Berlín,

  20. Muchas gracias, agu. Espero que le haya gustado a el.

    Saludos desde Londres.

  21. boyfriend would love that recipe
    thanks Cuban !
    This restaurant Ottolenghi sounds nice!

  22. My castle, this weekend gone there was a special supplement with the Grun (The Guardian, for us regular readers) that contained many of Ottolenghi's recipes. I will be posting some very soon.

    Greetings from London.

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