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Apulian Cooking
Pea soup A shockingly simple dish which you can make lighter with a few tips by Dario Ersetti
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Pea soup. Photo by Dario Ersetti

      The first thing you notice when reading the ingredients of this recipe is the excessive amount of olive oil used. And the quantity is pretty exaggerated when compared to today’s lifestyle, but quite normal in times gone by when one ate a loaf of bread with it and then went to till the fields.

      However, if we reduce the oil, the substance changes very little: it is a dish with an extraordinary flavor and texture. The onion, which is abundant in the recipe, should be sweet, and sautéed gently until it is well done and caramelized (and preferably of the Barletta variety). The peas must be of the “Sannicola Riccio” variety, freshly picked. The eggs should be free range from the barnyard. The bread for the croutons should be homemade from whole wheat flour and cooked in a wood-fired oven (olive, of course).

      This is one example of the fresh and elegant recipes Apulian cuisine has to offer. Too bad it is almost impossible to find in so many of the restaurants in the region which often, even in summer, continue to serve up “typical” winter dishes.

 

The recipe

 

4 servings:

 

- 1 kg of fresh peas

- 1 large Barletta onion

- 2 eggs, beaten

- 200 cc of extra virgin olive oil

- parsley

- salt

- pepper

- freshly made croutons, fried in olive oil

 

      Chop the onion and then sauté it in a pan with olive oil and a little water. When the onions are caramelized, add the peas, and stir until the peas change color. Season with salt, and cover with plenty of water. After ten minutes add the beaten eggs with a little salt, mix well and simmer for another five minutes. Add a little pepper and chopped parsley. Serve with fried bread croutons.

      This is the traditional recipe. In one ‘modern’ version the olive oil is reduced to 2-3 tablespoons, and the bread is toasted in the oven (even if they are really much better fried).

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