Cooking Up Simple Umbria Rural Goodness: a Coronavirus Deterrent
Italians are cooking more than ever these days: after well over a month into lockdown, cooking and sharing the goodness together enjoyably fills the time.
We also try to offer each other support, ways to fill the time: I hope the sharing of my recipes might be a small deterrent to ward off a CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack).
This recipe is an easy one, simply using the foods I had on hand: potatoes, carrots, an onion (wished I’d had a couple leeks to use instead!), parsley from our garden, our olive oil and bread starting to harden up (for croutons).
The parsley was actually the inspiration: walking down our road the other day,..
….. I’d passed our garden, noting a rotund bunch of parsley…
I wanted to use that parsley in a lunch dish and decided on a soup, a simple one, quick and easy to make.
If you wish to try this vellutata di palate e carote (“velvety” purée of carrots and potatoes), start by dicing a large white onion (or a couple of leeks if you have them – even better!):
Slice and cut into small pieces about five medium-sized peeled potatoes and five peeled carrots
After slicing into small pieces a generous bunch of fresh parsley,……
…….finely dice it – and as always, I used our mezzaluna (“half-moon” – cradle knife):
Put the carrots, potatoes and onions on to cook in about 1 to 1-1/2 liters of water (water should cover vegetables – about 2″ of water above the vegetables), simmering the soup for about thirty minutes on low heat or until carrots and potatoes are soft. Add salt and pepper, q. b. (“quanto basta” – “as much as you need”).
Add some of the parsley but not all – as you’ll use some to sprinkle on top of the soup when serving – and a drizzle of olive oil (extra=virgin ONLY, per favore):
(I simmered the soup on our wood stove):
Cut up dried bread into cubes and toast lightly for croutons:
When potatoes and carrots are quite soft, create the vellutata: transfer the vegetables from the broth to a food mill and purée (and Pino did this for me):
Return the purée to the vegetable broth and simmer a few minutes. Add a touch more olive oil – and additional salt and pepper – if needed:
When hot, put croutons in each soup bowl…
….and top with the soup.
Sprinkle parsley on top of soup
Add Parmesan cheese if you wish….although that suggestion left Pino perplexed:
“Niente parmigiano per me, grazie,” decided Pino.
With or without a topping of Parmesan,……buon appetito!
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