Call it an obsession but Italy is on my mind all the time this summer. But rather than pasta or lasagne I have made a beautiful Pappa alle Zucchine. The whole idea of the italian vegetable soups is heating the cut vegetables on a low fire for about an hour or more. The stock is only added later. The slow cooking process is releasing the natural sweetness of the vegetables giving the soup a nice flavour. The most typical vegetable to use is obviously tomato (pappa al pomodori), but also other vegetables like bell pepper, peas, fennel, asparagus or carrots can be used.
Today I used zucchini as a basis adding mint and pieces of ciabatta bread for flavour and consistency. I made this soup earlier this year for my family members that came over for my birthday party. It was a big success!
This is what you need:
- 8 zuccinis
- 4 onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- olive oil
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 1 ciabatta
- 30 gr. fresh mint
Cut the zucchinis lengthwise and remove the seeds. Don’t be lazy here, the cooking will make the zucchini flesh soft but the seeds will keep their consistency so it’s better to take them out. Cut the zucchini in slices. Then fry the zucchini with the coarsley chopped onion and minced garlic for 75 minutes on a low fire in a little olive oil. Keep a close watch on your pan and stir regularly until the vegetables caramelise.
Dissolve the vegetable stock cubes in 2 liters of water, add it to the vegetables and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Cut the ciabatta in dices and roughly chop the mint. Before serving add some bread and mint and go and spoil your guests and yourself.