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Socca, Walnut Basil Pesto & Purple Mangetout – Vegan & Gluten Free

Socca with Walnut Basil Pesto

If you haven’t tried socca before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a sort of flatbread or substantial pancake made from chickpeas and it’s naturally vegan and gluten free. It’s also delicious. With little cooking or preparation required it makes a perfect meal for summertime. This socca spread with walnut basil pesto and scattered with toasted walnuts and purple mangetout scored particularly well.

Unfamiliar Cooking Facilities

Over the last few months, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Lymington sorting and clearing my mother in law’s house and getting the garden into some sort of order. When we’re there I don’t have a whole store cupboard full of ingredients or the utensils I’m used to using; meals need to be very simple and also quick to make. This socca with walnut basil pesto is ideal. The photos were taken with my phone as my camera was left behind, so you’ll have to excuse the quality.

Socca with Walnut Basil Pesto

Socca. What’s that?

Socca is a street food from the south of France. It’s made very simply from chickpea flour, olive oil and water. Traditionally, it’s baked rather than fried, as I’ve done here and it’s served with very simple toppings. Socca goes by the name of farinata in neighbouring Italy, although it has other regional names too. Chickpea flour is widely available these days, but you may find it under one of its other names: gram flour or besan flour.

Gram Flour

As we’ve all been told many times, chickpeas are very good for us. Gram flour is packed with protein. It also contains a high level of vitamin B6, iron, selenium, magnesium and potassium. I added a bit of turmeric, because I like to get some of that in my diet most days. All you need to accompany your socca are a few vegetables. Purple mangetout in this instance.

Socca Preperation

Both the socca and pesto are quick to prepare, although the batter needs to rest for a good hour before cooking. I only had a small pan, so my socca was very thick. A larger pan would be much better as it’s meant to have a depth of about half a centimetre. It should be crisp on the outside and creamy ion the nside. If you have a surfeit of courgettes, you could grate one into the batter or make these courgette and chickpea pancakes with mango and cucumber salsa. Adding lime zest to the batter was inspired and the pesto made a fine accompaniment.

Froothie Blender

I used the small jug of my G2.3 Optimum induction blender to make the walnut basil pesto. If you’d like to order any Froothie appliance including the G2.3 blender, I can offer Tin and Thyme readers free P&P. Just add 2483 free ambassador delivery to the comment box when ordering. Delivery will be credited back onto your card. As I go to press all orders over £200 come with a free nutriforce extractor. Here’s the link to my Full on Froothie page to see all of the recipes I’ve made with a Froothie blender.

Socca with Walnut Basil Pesto & Purple Mangetout – The Recipe

Socca with Walnut Basil Pesto
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Socca with Walnut Basil Pesto & Purple Mangetout

This French flatbread or substantial pancake is made from chickpea flour and it's naturally vegan and gluten free. The pesto makes a robust accompaniment and is also vegan.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: chickpea flour, gluten-free, gram flour, pancakes, peas, peasant food, socca, vegan
Servings: 2 people



  • 125 g chickpea flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • good grinding of black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 unwaxed lime
  • 200 g water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25 g walnuts - toasted
  • purple podded mangetout - topped & tailed

Walnut Basil Pesto

  • 50 g walnuts
  • 50 g basil
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • grinding of black pepper
  • squeeze of lime


  • At least an hour before you're ready to start cooking, whisk the chickpea flour into the water.
  • Zest the lime and whisk this in together with the turmeric, salt & pepper and 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Leave to rest for an hour.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a medium sized non-stick pan.
  • Whisk the batter again and pour into the pan. Cook over a moderate heat for 5-10 minutes or until the top has just set.
  • Flip the socca over and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the top is golden.
  • Whilst this is cooking, boil or simmer the mangetout whole for 5-10 minutes until they are cooked but still have a bit of bite to them.
  • Blitz all of the ingredients for the pesto in a blender. I used my G2.3 induction blender.
  • Spread 3-4 teaspoonfuls over the cooked and warm socca.
  • Top with the toasted walnuts and serve with the peas and the remaining lime cut into wedges.


The batter needs at least half an hour to rest before cooking though longer is better.
Peas may need stringing depending on the variety or how young they are.


I’m sending this socca with walnut basil pesto to Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays.

It also goes to #CookBlogShare hosted by Hijacked by Twins.

And as this is naturally vegan and gluten-free, I’m also linking my socca with walnut basil pesto to #FreeFromFridays at Le Coin de Mel.

Socca with Walnut Basil Pesto. PIN IT.

Socca, Walnut Basil Pesto & Purple Podded Peas. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

This post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blythe and blogging. 


  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    25th July 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I adore socca! Haven’t made one in ages. Now you have me crave some, Choclette. The purple peas look fun.

    • Choclette

      25th July 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks Angie. It’s such a simple meal to make and so tasty too, I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. The purple peas were delicious.

  2. Galina V

    25th July 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I haven’t tried socca or purple mangetout, but I do love chickpeas, and imagine I’d enjoy this flatbread too. Delicious!

    • Choclette

      25th July 2017 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks Galina. It’s so easy to make, it’s definitely worth a try and it really is quite delicious.

  3. Lucy

    25th July 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I have heard of socca in france but never tried it! Love the sound of a chickpea pancake and your walnut basil pesto sounds really good. Lovely topped off with some mange tout especially purple!

    • Choclette

      26th July 2017 at 7:35 am

      Thanks Lucy. One day I will try the real thing in the real place, but until then I shall carry on making up my own versions 🙂

  4. Dannii

    25th July 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Wow, what a unique dish. I have never tried this, but it is definitely on the list now. I love the colour!

    • Choclette

      26th July 2017 at 7:34 am

      As long as you’ve whipped up the batter earlier, it’s a godsend for a super speedy, nutritious and delicious supper dish.

  5. johanna @ green gourmet giraffe

    26th July 2017 at 9:34 am

    I recently had a chat with a friend where we were saying is there any veg that can’t be purple after seeing purple brussel sprouts. And now snow peas! I have only had socca once and cooked it in the oven – I really need to try i on stovetop – this looks lovely and somehow I can’t get the combination of walnuts and apples out of my head – what chance that someone somewhere has purple apples 🙂

    • Choclette

      26th July 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Oh no Johanna,not purple apples surely! But you’re right purple is the new wonder colour and any veg worth it’s salt needs to be that colour 😉 Cooking the socca on a stove top, means no need to turn on the oven. Too hot for much oven work here at the moment!

  6. Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet

    26th July 2017 at 9:53 am

    Never heard of socca before but couldn’t help but wonder if it had some Arab influence with the chickpeas. Looks good!

    • Choclette

      26th July 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Well Arabs were the master traders of their day, so that’s a distinct possibility.

  7. Nico @ yumsome

    26th July 2017 at 7:17 pm

    I love farinata, and make it a lot… but I always do mine in the oven. It’s never occurred to me to cook it like a pancake on the stove!

    The mangetout looks really cool! I’ve seen plenty of purple beans but not peas! xx

    • Choclette

      27th July 2017 at 5:59 pm

      It’s just easier on the stove top – or at least cheaper! And it means not having to turn the oven on in hot weather. We used to grow purple peas before the deer got in and we had to give up growing pretty much anything 🙁

  8. Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

    27th July 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Oooh I have not heard of Socca before but really want to try it! I adore pesto and the peas look fab. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

    • Choclette

      27th July 2017 at 5:59 pm

      It’s a really easy and versatile dish which you can eat with pretty much anything you like.

  9. Stella @ The Smoothie Vegetarians

    27th July 2017 at 6:08 pm

    I absolutely love Pesto, and this looks like a really good combination! I look forward to trying this!

    • Choclette

      27th July 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks Stella. Pesto is just brilliant. The socca isn’t bad either 😉

  10. MissPond

    27th July 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I’ve never tried Socca before! But this looks delicious 🙂 I’ll be pinning!

    • Choclette

      28th July 2017 at 8:14 am

      It’s a brilliant simple summer supper – well worth trying.

  11. Laura

    28th July 2017 at 1:24 am

    I absolutely love Socca! I worked in the South of France for a few months and often would pick this up from street food vendors and it’s so good! I’ve made it at home a few times and I love the sound of these toppings
    Laura x

    • Choclette

      28th July 2017 at 8:13 am

      How fabulous. I’ve never tried the real thing. Not the Italian farinata either. One day!

  12. Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    28th July 2017 at 10:24 am

    I love socca, similar to Italian Italian farinata and those purple mange tout are very interesting. I must try them (I saw them at Sainsburys recently). Lovely healthy recipe!

    • Choclette

      28th July 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks Alida. I didn’t think to look on your site, but I expect you have a recipe for farinata – do you? The purple mange tout are really tasty and anything purple is meant to be super healthy 🙂

  13. Jacqueline Meldrum

    28th July 2017 at 3:08 pm

    It’s so inspiring that you are still creating imaginative recipes like this during your move. I think for me creativity would go out the window to be replaced by exhaustion and lots of toasties and salad.

    • Choclette

      28th July 2017 at 8:47 pm

      It was beans on toast for supper tonight Jac 😉

  14. Corina

    31st July 2017 at 6:41 am

    I will have to try socca again. I tried making it a few months ago and it tasted good but stuck to the pan and so looked a complete mess by the time I’d scraped it all out! It never made it onto the blog but maybe if I tried to remake it on the stovetop it would be a different matter. I do at least feel it would be worth trying again now!

    • Choclette

      31st July 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Just make sure you use a good non-stick pan Corina and you should be fine. It cooks faster on the stove top too – bonus!

  15. Sammie

    3rd August 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I’ve never seen socca before, but it looks so tasty. Also love the purple mange toute on top of the pesto. Fantastic dish.

    • Choclette

      8th August 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks Sammie. Purple peas are always fun, but socca is definitely worth trying. it’s so easy to make, especially on the stove top as I’ve done.

  16. Jean |

    22nd August 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Choclette, I’m not gluten-free myself but have a number of friends who are. This sounds like something I’d like to make for them. I’ve never heard of socca, but I’m sure I’d like it.

    • Choclette

      22nd August 2017 at 4:54 pm

      I’m sure you would Jean, you can add whatever toppings your like, so it’s infinitely versatile. The same thing is called farinata in Italy.

  17. Cathy @ Planet Veggie

    31st August 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve had chickpea pancakes before but socca is something different for me to try. I’m always up for trying new vegan things!

    • Choclette

      31st August 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Socca is brilliant. It’s easy to make and you can add whatever toppings you fancy.


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