The ancient city of Matera was a highlight on one of our previous trips to Italy. Here is the link to the post in 2017 describing our day in MATERA. It was hard to grasp standing among the ruins and slightly renovated cave homes how the people lived on the cliffs of the mountains in ancient times.
So when I received this cookbook for Christmas “Food of the Italian South: Recipes for Classic, Disappearing and Lost Dishes” I was thrilled to see that several recipes originated in Matera. The bread recipe that Matera is famous for is included along with the sourdough starter instructions – a definite one to try soon!
The recipe I chose to try today is called Crapiata (simple translation – bean soup). It is a traditional Matera soup made in August to celebrate the end of the harvest season and served cold (although we ate it hot off the stove and it was very good). The original recipe calls for cicerchie (grass peas) but after reading that these beans/peas contain neurotoxins that might be harmful, I decided to leave them out and substituted scarlet runner beans that we grow and dry for use in recipes.
Try as I might to stay true to the traditional recipe, I did add a few ingredients along with a couple of substitutions. All in all, the soup was delicious and delivered a nostalgic note of a much-treasured trip to Matera in years past.
Mix of beans and grains used in the recipe.
Soup cooking on the stove. It makes a large pot of soup!
Ready to eat with a drizzle of olive oil on top. Yum!
Unfortunately, the soup did not photo well, but what it lacked in photogenic ability, was made up for in flavor.