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Zuppa di Porcini

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Zuppa di Porcini

My trip to Italy (specifically Tuscany) inspired this vegetarian version …

See Zuppa di Porcini on Key Ingredient.

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I spent Spring Break 2009 in Italy, so I couldn’t let that go by without blogging about it. Pizza, pancetta, gelato, white bread, and white flour pasta are abundant in Italy. All those items are either vorbuten or strictly limited from my personal diet, although I have to admit, barring the meats, I did sample them. Processed white wheat flour, according to my son who spent a term in Siena, is about the only food basic that’s still cheap, so of course there’s a lot of it. We found the prices of food to be exceptionally high in Italy at the exchange rates in effect during our trip. For the equivalent of $10 US you can get approximately one small a-la-carte side dish in most places. I went looking for the simple hearty peasant fare in Tuscany, and during the search I did find simple arrugula salads and soups that were both delicious and satisfying. On arriving home, I was fired up about duplicating or at least approximating some of those Italian dishes, and this soup based on boletus edulus (in Italy known as porcini) is one effort.

I had some frozen roasted chestnuts left over from Thanksgiving. I perked them up with a few minutes in the oven. I recommend chestnuts as a topping if you have any. I also had some sun dried tomatoes that I preserved way last summer. As promised, they gave this soup a nice summery zing that is lacking from the store tomatoes one buys at this time of year. I also threw a little chopped parsley on it.

Next time I make this soup I’ll increase the rosemary or augment with dried. Usually rosemary is overpowering, but the fresh rosemary that I purchased was underwhelming. I tossed some more on the soup and saved it, after realizing that the amount in the recipe was inadequate. Please note with rosemary that your mileage may vary.
This soup is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.

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