Socca and Soupe au Pistou

I've been wanting to make Socca, a chickpea crepe made in Nice, similar to the Italian Farinata, for some time. Chickpeas have long been one of my favorite foods and I'm somewhat fascinated with their varied uses in ethnic cuisines. This is a particularly fast and easy recipe using chickpea flour (Though according to some sources, the batter should rest for several hours - I usually start the batter first, then cook everything else, and finish the crepe just before serving). I paired it with soup, but feel free to enjoy it on it's own. And for a more authentic take on it, check out David Lebovitz' explanation.


Makes 2 10" rounds

2/3 cup chick pea flour, such as Bob's Redmill
2/3 cup water
1 sprig rosemary
1/8-1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for pan
salt and pepper to taste

Combine flour and water and whisk until smooth. Remove rosemary leaves from stem and roughly chop. Add rosemary, cumin, and salt to batter. This can be done well in advance, let sit at room temperature until ready to bake. Place a 10" cast iron skillet under the broiler and allow to heat until smoking (about 5-10 minutes). Remove pan and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan liberally. Add the batter and quickly tilt pan to spread the batter over the surface. Return to the broiler and heat until firm and bubbling on top. Use a large spatula to remove the socca from the pan and onto a cutting board. Brush the top with olive oil, salt, and pepper and cut into bite sized pieces. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot.

Soupe au Pistou

Soup seems like a strange thing to have in the middle of summer, but we've had a few cooler days lately and it's quite good served warm rather than steaming hot. Plus, it tastes like summer. Filled with fresh summery produce and cooked just long enough to make a delicious herbal broth drawing out the essence of the ingredients, it is a light cousin to winter minestrone. And a one pot meal that cooks easily with little attention.

Feel free to vary the ingredients to suit your tastes and what you have on hand. Just keep in mind you want to stick with fresh summer vegetables.


40 medium basil leaves
3-5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Finely mince and then smash together with the side of a knife the garlic and basil. When thoroughly combined, move to a small bowl and add oil, stirring to combine. Add salt to taste.

Note: You can also do this in a blender of food processor, but I find it's easier in smaller batches to use a knife.

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup fennel, chopped (about half a bulb)
1 rib celery, diced
1/4 large onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium red or yellow potato, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
4 cups water
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup small pasta, such as macaroni, orzo, or broken capellini
1 14.5 oz can white beans
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium high and add in the fennel, onion, carrot, celery, and potato. Saute for about 3 minutes until all the vegetables are well coated and slightly softened. Add the garlic bay leaf and thyme, and saute another minute. Then add the water and cover, let simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender.

Add the zucchini, tomatoes, and white beans. And simmer for another 5 minutes. Then add the pasta and cook through, about 10 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf. Check seasoning.

To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and top with a large spoonful of the pistou.

1 comment:

  1. That pistou looks delicious! I've never tried it. I love this blog. Oh and I think she means bay leaf, not bay lead.