Archive for the 'Soup' Category

A hearty cavolo nero, beans and pasta soup

cavolo nero, beans and pasta soup

cavolo nero, beans and pasta soup

Winter is coming so let’s bring back the wholesome soups on the menu. I had bought a bag of cavolo nero recently and didn’t know what to do with it so decided to  put it in a soup. Apparently it is very good for you: full of vitamins and antioxidant properties. The soup lasted me for DAYS but it was very nice reheated. You can do it with the addition of the pancetta or without it, if you are vegetarian. Simple but tasty and filling. Just what the doctor ordered on a cold, autumn night. Continue reading ‘A hearty cavolo nero, beans and pasta soup’

Roasted pumpkin with toasted sweetcorn soup

roasted pumpkin and toasted sweetcorn soup

  roasted pumpkin and toasted sweetcorn soup

Hello all you soup lovers! Who doesn’t like a soup when the weather is cold and grey like it is at the moment? Here’s a delicious recipe to add to  your repertoire.  Really simple but extremely tasty. And the colour is gorgeous: a lovely bright orange! I got the inspiration from Delia Smith but I adapted it quite significantly. For a start I roasted the pumpkin and scooped the flesh out instead of peeling it and cooking it from raw, which is what Delia does. It’s such a faff to peel a pumpkin and life ain’t long enough. I find that roasting it and using the cooked flesh is so much easier for soups and many other recipes besides (like risotto, for instance). Secondly I chose not to liquidize it as you get the nice texture of the sweetcorn this way. Anyway…try it and see for yourself how good it is! :-) Continue reading ‘Roasted pumpkin with toasted sweetcorn soup’

Chickpea, tomato and bread soup

chickpea, tomato and bread soup

chickpea, tomato and bread soup

I haven’t blogged a soup for a while and, as you know, I LOVE soups. So the time has come to experiment again.  Yes, I know, in Italy probably this is not the right time of the year to make soups (31 degrees in Sicily, apparently! GRRRRR!) HOWEVER this is England and, as you know, you can go from winter to summer and back again to winter in the space of a few hours. Lately the weather hasn’t been so great. In fact the other day the thermometer in my car registered 5 degrees, to my utter dismay!!! INSANE, considering it’s blooming May! So, to cut a long story short, a good soup is never out of place in this country. So  here is an amazingly good one for you, courtesy of the mighty Ottolenghi.  It has been recommended to me by my sister in law Stefania (thank you!). It’s ideal to make if you have any stale bread (better if sourdough) knocking about. I hate throwing food away , particularly if I have made it (read bread) with my own fair hands. In the last year or so I have made canederli quite a number of times in order to use bread which has gone past its sell by date (see recipe here). But this is an equally good alternative. It’s a cross between a stew and a soup and very filling it is too! One bowl of it and you won’t need much else. Plus you will feel holier than thou as it is very healthy indeed! Continue reading ‘Chickpea, tomato and bread soup’

Porotos granados


porotos granados

porotos granados

While waiting for Candi to re-emerge (she has been very busy with her work) you’ll have to suffer my experiments again. I haven’t blogged a soup for a long time but following a request from my sister in law Stefania who, like me, is a fan of soups and has tried most of the ones I have blogged so far, I decided the time had come to experiment again. She needed some inspiration and I was more than happy to oblige! With winter approaching what better than a nice, hot soup complete with some home made bread  (yes! I made that too !) to warm the cockles of one’s heart ? This time I went to Chile for the inspiration. The literal translation of the soup’s name, according to Google, is bean stew. Well, considering it is rather thick and rich perhaps it’s not far off a stew. The good thing about it is that it contains beans, hence proteins, making it a complete meal in itself. I used cannellini but any smallish beans will do (like pinto, aduki, borlotti etc.). I really liked it and will definitely be making it again.  Once again there are many recipes out there for porotos granados but I followed Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe out of his River Cottage Veg every day book (I am afraid you will see a lot of his recipes in the near future as I have turned vegetarian) with a slight variation at the end as I added fresh basil to it which I had seen in other recipes on line. Also, and I am sure it’s not very Chilean, I served mine with grated parmesan.  Live dangerously, I say! I would put parmesan on everything, me! I have even tried it on porridge. Yummy! :-) By the way, if the Italians can’t get hold of a butternut squash I reckon this soup would be equally good made with some good quality pumpkin (not the watery and tasteless Halloweeny variety, mind!). Continue reading ‘Porotos granados’

Minestrone soup

lovely minestrone soup

Is this possible? Have I never blogged minestrone before? Unthinkable! Absurd! (to use one of the lines from the excellent musical The Fiddler on the roof). Well….in truth I don’t know why I have never done it until now as I LOVE minestrone and I often make it. I tend to make a huge batch of it, then either eat it for days on end or freeze some of it. To an Italian person minestrone will not sound all that exciting. After all it is pretty basic stuff . Still, we are here to share what we eat and, as I mentioned, minestrone is a welcome, frequent guest at my table. Plus my English friends will approve, I am sure. I know: summer is not exactly the right season to blog soups BUT , let’s face it, from what Candida has been saying, WHAT SUMMER? The weather in Italy has been very much minestrone weather so far, I’d say. Coming back to this queen of soups. The only minus point compared to other soups is that it is rather faffy to make as you have to neatly chop all your vegetables into bite size pieces  instead of chucking them  in the pot, boiling and liquidizing them. In other words, making minestrone is a labour of love: it takes time and patience. But you will be rewarded at the end. Trust me! Basically the more vegetables you put in the better. Always remember to include some potatoes and onions and some borlotti beans or similar, to give it body. Continue reading ‘Minestrone soup’

Vellutata di zucchine alla nocciola

Eh! solo Lucina deve postare cibo salutare? Eh no. Ecco qua per rimediare (anche per le prossime ricette che saranno dolci) una zuppetta veloce e davvero buona. Il sapore delle zucchine sta benissimo con le nocciole e così ho fatto questo esperimento. Continue reading ‘Vellutata di zucchine alla nocciola’

Cream of cauliflower and stilton soup

cream of cauliflower and stilton soup

After the excesses of the past couple of weeks and the distinctive lack of vegetables in my diet in favour of sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate and all things calorie laden I am back on healthier stuff. In short ….bring back the soups and the salads!!  Soups are a firm favourite of mine and I’m always on the look out for new ones. Sometimes they are just a good way of using whatever veggies you have languishing in the fridge. This cream of cauliflower is a case in point:  I had a piece of sad looking stilton left over from Christmas, one cauliflower and …voilà…this soup was born. I confess I am not a fan of cauliflower (unless it is encased in béchamel sauce!)- not to mention its smell- but I must say I was surprised as to how creamy and tasty this one was. My husband was full of compliments and urged me to blog it as he enjoyed it so much. So how could I refuse? So here goes…. Continue reading ‘Cream of cauliflower and stilton soup’

Roasted red vegetables soup

roasted red vegetables soup

Now that the autumnal season is upon us it’s time to give birth to a new soup recipe. Soups are so cheap and quick to make and such an ideal thing to eat on a cold, wet, dull day. Even better if accompanied by some lovely bread! And better still if the bread is home made! :-) Speaking of which: I haven’t updated you lately on my bread making extravaganza but let me tell you that  my experiments in that department are going really well! My sourdough is still going strong and I’ve tried many new recipes. I will have to blog one soon!  Anyway, back to soups. This particular one is slightly more complicated than normal ones as before banging all your veggies in a pan you must roast them in the oven. But trust me: it’s worth it for the flavour! Plus, it’s hardly complicated to roast a few vegetables, isn’t it? So what are you waiting for? Have a go at this one, you soup fanatics. You won’t regret it! Continue reading ‘Roasted red vegetables soup’

Pea and fennel soup

pea and fennel soup

This recipe is for all the soup fans out there. As you know I like a good soup and I often experiment with them. It couldn’t be simpler and quicker. Let’s face it, you don’t need any sophisticated culinary skills to achieve a decent one. However, although easy to produce not all soups are equal. Some are a cut above the rest and the combination of vegetables used works particularly well, like in the case of this pea and fennel soup I invented last night, for example. Ok, I’ll come clean : I  had a fennel in the fridge which was beginning to look a bit sad and had to be used pronto and I had just bought a bag of frozen peas in the supermarket. Continue reading ‘Pea and fennel soup’

Beetroot, sweet potato and carrot soup

beetroot, sweet potato and carrot soup

Oh yes! No cakes today for you, my friends! I have a lovely, healthy recipe instead: beetroot soup!!  As mentioned before I LOVE soups and often make them, particularly in winter. (And let’s be honest: we are still there aren’t we? Today there must have been one degree! Complete with a flurry of snow. :-() They are sooooooooooooooo easy! People who buy them ready made should be shot. You basically throw any vegetables you have in a pot together with a potato and an onion (which are key ingredients) , boil them up in some vegetable stock and when they are soft you liquidize the lot. Hey presto! You have soup! What could be easier?  I know Candi is not a big fan of soups…or at least the people in her life. But what a quick and easy way to eat your five a day vegetables, don’t you think? This one has a fantastic colour, as you can see from the picture: a real dark velvety red. I made it using red/orange vegetables (beetroot, carrots and sweet potato- which is orange here!). Quick and delicious. P.S. Today is Mother’s day here in the UK. So happy Mother’s day to all the mums who read this blog! Let’s face it: it’s one of the hardest jobs!!!! Continue reading ‘Beetroot, sweet potato and carrot soup’