La Cisrà, tripe and chickpeas soup

Ingredients

Large portions for 6/8 people; this dish is best enjoyed in company!

  • 3-400 grams of tripe
  • 300 grams of chickpeas
  • 3 leeks
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 onion

Preparation

Soak the chickpeas in water the night before preparation, so they become soft.

Cut the vegetables and tripe into little pieces and put them in a pot, cover them with water and let simmer.

Simmering is quite important, the cooking should last at least 2 and a half hours or even 3. Stir occasionally.

Towards the end add salt and, if preferred, add a fried clove of garlic and two sage leaves sauce.

Curiosity

La Cisrà is a typical Langa dish that has many variations. In this case, I’m proposing perhaps the most famous version, the Dogliani Cisrà.

It is said that as from the 17th century in Dogliani, during the Fiera dei Santi  (The Saints Fair), the members of the Confraternity of the Beaten Ones were used to offering a steaming bowl of this very soup to the tired and weary worshippers, who came to the fair after having walked long distances in order to participate in the religious services and at the last market before the winter season began.

Even today La Cisrà is offered during the Saints Fair held on the 2nd of November which attracts people from across the region. To give you an idea of how popular it is, this year roughly 15 tons of soup were distributed, some 4,000 portions!

In ancient times La Cisrà was prepared using dark chickpeas of Middle-Eastern origin. Nowadays the “Cece di Nucetto” chickpea variant, grown in the Nucetto town territory, is preferred.

And finally it must be said that housewives and chefs alike jealously guard their secret recipes for this soup. I consulted an authentic Dogliani source for this recipe, an expert of Langa dishes and an excellent cook: my mother Livia!

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