Cream of Chick Pea & Broccoli Rabe Soup
This was a really quick, spur-of-the-moment type idea- but one that actually worked really well! The idea of thickening a vegetable broth with a couple of spoons full of flour is pretty awful, I have to admit, but basically, that is what I did this evening... only I used my new favorite ingredient, chick-pea or garbanzo bean flour- which is quite a different story altogether.
I recently made Sicilian "Panelle", and of course had to taste it whilst it was cooking away and though the paste of flour and water, was destined to become something else in that recipe, I still realized that the rich chick-pea flavor it had, was something that could be capitalized on. And this evening I did!
I brought the chick-pea broth to the boil and then reduced it to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. I seasoned it with some dried garlic flakes and a little nutmeg, salt, pepper and a tiny squeeze of lemon. After 5-6 minutes, the broth thickens up and becomes smooth and creamy. The Italian name for this kind of soup is a "Vellutata" which means "made of velvet"- which sure describes this soup. And with no need for any added cream it is especially wonderful if you ask me!
I poured a third of the plain soup into my mixer and added most of the blanched broccoli rabe, gave it a quick blast and in less than a minute, I had transformed the chick pea soup into a lovely green, flavorful broccoli soup! It was so easy! I then first poured the plain soup into my bowl and then added the broccoli soup to one side only. I set some of the intact broccoli in the center and added a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil before serving. I swirled it around once to make it a little prettier- but basically that was it! 2 soups in one in no time at all! And at practically no cost or effort- you have a nice, warming little starter that is more than simply good enough to eat! It is really delicious!