Bean Soup from Naples

Napolitean Bean Soup

I loved Naples. It is a filthy, noise city that lives perpetually in a chaos that keeps your senses awake all day long.

I bought a book on a street market that seemed a collection of home recipes put together by a housewife with the help of someone with basic word processing knowledge.  Its contents, though, are fascinating. This recipe comes from the book.

  • Butter beans
  • Chopped Garlic
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  1. Soak beans overnight.
  2. Next morning, boil beans until tender. This might take from 1.5 hours to 2.5, depending on water hardness and beans.
  3. When tender, add parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt. Cook for another 10 minutes.

If there is stale bread, toast it slightly, and pour soup over.

It freezes well.

Tips&Tricks: if you can get fresh butter beans, you should definitively try this dish with them.

Spanish Garlic Chicken

Spanish Garlic Chicken

Called “pollo al ajillo” in Spanish, is a dish for garlic lovers who will nibble on the golden bits of garlic with pleasure. Add a green salad on the side and a slice of good bread.

It’s important to use thighs because chicken breast is too dry. Don’t be put off by the amount of garlic because a long sautéing mellows its pungency.

  • 3 chicken thighs cut in 6 pieces each
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • Bay leaf and clove (optional)
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  1. Brown the chicken over medium-low heat. Stir often for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the garlic cloves.
  3. Add to pot once and stir until the garlic browns too. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon once in a while.
  4. Add a generous splash of dry white wine or water. If you want to add bay leave, do it know. Scrape. Reduce. Serve.

Cook’s reward: once the dish is done, the spoon used for scraping will have a mixture of garlic and crispy chicken bits of flesh and skin. Use a small piece of bread to grab as much as you can and enjoy.

Tips&Tricks:

  • In step 1, if you sauté for just 20 minutes, chicken will be very tender and juicy but the skin will be kind of gross. If you keep cooking for another 20-30 minutes, the skin will fall off, crisp up and be a thing to die for.
  • Use a free range animal.