Simple Italian Cookery, by Antonia Isola

Soups

Beef Soup Stock (Brodo di Carne)

1 pound of round of beef
2 quarts of water
2 small, new carrots, or 1/2 of an old carrot
1/2 pound of beef bones
2 small potatoes
1 onion
1 tomato, fresh or canned
Parsley

Boil the beef, bones, and vegetables in two quarts of water over a slow fire — adding pepper and salt. Skim occasionally, and after two hours add two tablespoons of sherry; then strain through fine soup-strainer or cheese-cloth. This is the basis of all the following soups, except when otherwise stated.

To make this stock richer, add a turkey leg to above receipt; boil one and a half hours, then add one-half a pound of finely chopped beef. Cook for half an hour longer, then strain.

To make meat jelly, add a little gelatine to the soup stock five minutes before straining.

To give a good dark color to the stock, add a few drops of “caramel,” which is prepared in the following manner:

Put three tablespoons of granulated sugar into a saucepan with a little water, and until the sugar has become dark and reddish; then add a little more water and boil again until the sugar is melted. Strain and pour into a bottle when the caramel will keep perfectly for several weeks.

Chicken Broth (Brodo di Capone)

This is made like the meat stock, substituting a fowl in place of the beef and bones.

Rice Soup (Minestra di Riso)

Meat stock
2 tablespoons of rice

Cover the rice with water and boil for ten minutes; then drain and add to the stock (after it has been strained), and boil for five or ten minutes more.

Stracciatella Soup (Minestra di Stracciatella)

1 egg
1/2 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon bread crumbs

Beat the egg, yolk and white together; add salt and the cheese, grated, and the bread crumbs; mix well together and add to the boiling stock (strained). Stir well with a fork to prevent the egg from setting, and boil for four or five minutes.

Vegetable Chowder (Minestrone alla Milanese)

1/2 quart of stock
2 slices of lean pork, or a ham bone
2 tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 cup of rice
2 tablespoons of dried beans
1 tablespoon of peas, fresh or canned
2 onions

Put into the stock the slices of pork, cut into small pieces; or, if desired, a ham bone may be substituted for the pork. Add the tomatoes, cut into small pieces also, the onions, in small pieces, and the rice. Boil all together until the rice is cooked. Then add the beans and the peas and cook a little longer. The soup is ready when it is thick. If desired, this chowder can be made with fish broth instead of the stock, and with the addition of shrimps which have been taken from their shells.

This dish can be served hot or cold.

Fish Broth (Brodo di Pesce)

1 liberal pound of fresh codfish, or any other lean fish for boiling
1 quart of water
1 onion
Parsley
Salt and pepper

Boil until fish is thoroughly cooked; strain and serve.

Codfish Soup (Zuppa di Merluzzo)

Take one-half pound of salt codfish that has been soaked, cut it up into squares, but not small.

Prepare in a saucepan four tablespoons of good olive-oil, and one small onion cut into pieces. Cook the onion in the oil over a slow fire, without allowing the onion to become colored, then add a small bunch of parsley stems, a small piece of celery, a bay-leaf, and a small sprig of thyme. Cool for a few moments, then add two tomatoes, skinned and with the seeds removed, and cut into slices, two tablespoons of dry white wine, and one medium-sized potato, peeled and cut into slices, and, lastly, one cup of water.

When the potato is half cooked, add the codfish, then one-half tablespoon more of olive-oil. Remove the parsley stems, and put in instead one-half tablespoon of chopped-up parsley; add a good pinch of pepper, and some salt, if needed. When the vegetables are thoroughly cooked pour the soup over pieces of toasted or fried bread, and serve.

Lentil Soup (Brodo di Lenticchie)

3 tablespoons of dried lentils
1/2 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of cream
Meat stock

Cover the lentils with water and boil until they are quite soft. Pass them through a colander or a sieve. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the lentils and cream, mixing well, then add a ladleful of the stock, and boil for a few minutes; then add the rest of the desired amount of stock, a ladleful at a time.

Vegetable Soup (Zuppa alla Primaverile)

Take some cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, turnips, lettuce, squash, potatoes, beans, and peas. Chop each into very small pieces, wash and drain. Take a saucepan, put in a heaping tablespoon of butter; chop up another small piece of onion and add to butter and fry until onion is golden; then add all the vegetables, salt, and pepper, and cover the saucepan. When the vegetables are half cooked, and their juice has become absorbed, dissolve one tablespoon of tomato paste in one-third of a cup of hot water, and add. Instead of the tomato paste there may be added to the onion, before putting in the vegetables, one tomato, peeled and cut into small pieces. When the tomato is cooked add the vegetables. Then add water, a little at a time, until you have sufficient quantity for two persons. Take a slice of bread and cut into small squares or diamonds — toast or fry as desired — put these into the soup plates, and pour the soup (without straining) over them.

Lettuce Soup (Zuppa di Lattuga)

1 small lettuce
Meat stock
2 potatoes
The leaves of a head of celery
2 tablespoons of peas, fresh or canned
1 heaping tablespoon of flour

Put the potatoes, cold boiled, into the stock when it boils, add the celery leaves, the lettuce chopped up, the peas, and the flour mixed well with a little cold stock or water. Boil for one hour and a half, and serve with little squares of fried bread.

Pumpkin Soup (Zuppa di Zucca)

1 slice of pumpkin
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of water
1–1/2 cups of milk
1 tablespoon of sugar

Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds, cut into small pieces, and put into a saucepan with the butter, the sugar, a pinch of salt, and the water. Boil for two hours, then drain and put back into the saucepan with the milk, which has been boiled. Allow it to come to a boil, and then serve it with squares of fried bread.

Potato Soup (Zuppa alla Provinciale)

2 large potatoes
3 tablespoons of cream or milk
2 tablespoons of butter
2 yolks of eggs
Soup stock

Boil the potatoes, then rub them through a sieve. Put them into a saucepan with the butter, a little salt, and the cream or milk. Simmer until it is thick, then add the yolks of the two eggs to form it into a paste. Turn out onto the bread-board, cut into small dice, and throw them into the stock, which must be boiling. If desired, before serving sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese into the soup.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38