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Chickpea, borlotti and wheat berry soup (mesciuva)

Time 3 hours
Yields Serves 12
Chickpea, borlotti and wheat berry soup (mesciuva)
1

The night before, soak the chickpeas, borlotti beans and wheat berries separately in abundant cold water.

2

The next morning, cook them in separate pots with just the soaking water and a big pinch of salt, skimming the foam from the top occasionally. The cooking time of the beans varies every time he makes the soup, Camia says, but it’s usually several hours until they’re really tender. (The wheat berries should take about 2 hours).

3

Once the chickpeas, borlotti beans and wheat berries are cooked, remove from heat and let cool in their cooking liquid.

4

Combine the chickpeas, borlotti beans and wheat berries (including all the liquid) in a large pot. Make an herb bouquet of the rosemary, sage and bay leaves, tying them with string. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 1 hour or so to meld the flavors.

5

Remove from heat, add lots of freshly ground black pepper and stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

6

Serve in warmed shallow soup bowls. Drizzle a little more olive oil over each serving, if desired.

From Massimo Camia, chef-owner of Locanda Borgo Antico in Barolo, Italy.

S. Irene Virbila is a former restaurant critic and wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times. She left in 2015.
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