Saturday, March 24, 2012

Italian Soups

Italy is known for its' variety of pastas and wines. Yet one of its' most varied dishes is its' soups. There are all sorts from treasured family recipes to decadent rich ones, befitting a Roman banquet. Each province or area has its' own and each is equally as flavorful and good.

Most people know pasta e fagiole, .It's a flavorful bean and pasta soup that have been made by families and restaurants. The recipe changes from one to another but the initial flavor and creamy texture is still the same.The basic ingredients are olive oil, canneloni beans, garlic  onion and either fresh tomatoes or canned. Meat such as prosciutto can be added as well for more flavor. A similar and often popular soup is minestrone.Again this is a recipe that varies from family to family and from restaurant to restaurant,. Again it reflects the bounty of the land , Sardinia style has chickpeas which are abundant on the island. Veronese style has potatoes and lentils added for creaminess and taste.

Lesser known soups is Jota from the Northeastern corner of Trente Aldige.It is a Triestano soup made with sauerkraut and beans and reflects the province's Austrian influence. Another is an onion soup from Milan that's involves layering bread and sauteed onions.This , supa di Scigol is a great way of getting rid of leftover Taleggo or Brie cheese and old bread. More popular isstracciatella or rags  soup made with eggs and spinach. This is sort of similar to panne pesto or pompiest  from the Piedmonte region except that the shredded spinach leaves are used instead of breadcrumbs. Many restaurants serve it and the other spinach soup Italian wedding which also has tiny meatballs and chicken chunks in it.

Italy's soups are as different and as varied as their pastas. They reflect family traditions as well as the particular region's bounty. All are good. All are the components in good Italian cooking.

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