Chickpea and Prawn Soup by Alfredo alla Scrofa
Looking for a delicious, warm dish to serve on a cold winter’s evening? Maybe you still need to decide what to serve at your holiday dinner? This creamy, comforting Italian chickpea and prawn soup is beyond scrumptious and makes for a perfect warm-me-up dish to be enjoyed for a simple dinner at home or when you’re entertaining family and friends. The recipe comes from famous Roman restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa. Known as the birthplace of fettuccine alfredo, this well-known eatery has been open since 1914 and has served many a star in its time, including the likes of Sophia Lauren, Audrey Hepburn, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, Ringo Star and Bette Davis.
Ingredients for four people:
400 g dried chickpeas; 300 g prawns; 2 cloves garlic; 2 carrots; 1 stalk celery; 1 onion; 1 glass white wine; 100 g peeled tomatoes; extra virgin olive oil; salt and pepper; rosemary
For the chickpeas:
Soak the dried chickpeas for 24 hours until they’ve softened. Place a pot on the stove and add some extra virgin olive oil, celery, a carrot and a clove of garlic. Warm these, then add the chickpeas, their water, and salt. Boil the mixture for about 40 minutes.
For the prawns:
Set aside four prawns for decoration, then clean and chop the rest, saving the shells and heads for the bisque.
For the bisque:
In a deep pot, add the extra virgin olive oil, carrots, celery and onion. Then place the shells and heads in with the mixture and brown, being careful to eliminate the eyes which can add a bitter taste to the bisque. Simmer with white wine, add some water and a pinch of salt. Let the mixture boil for about an hour, then strain with the help of a colander and set the liquid aside.
Begin warming the chopped prawns, olive oil and rosemary in a large pan. After a few minutes, add the chickpeas and continue cooking slowly, thinning it with the bisque. When the soup has cooked down, add a ladle of the peeled tomato for a touch of color. Finish cooking, turn off the heat and mince about ⅓ if the mixture which will give the soup a soft and creamy consistency. Take the four remaining prawns and sauté them with garlic, oil and more rosemary.
Pour the soup into individual soup bowls and top each with a sautéd prawn.