Una vellutata di verdure… When you want to offer your guests something small, warm and nutritious, a vellutata is appreciated. This vegetable soup is a blended minestrone.
– 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 2 medium onions, diced
– 2 medium carrots, diced
– 2 celery sticks, diced
– 2 ripe beef tomatoes, chopped
– 150g French beans, cut in half
– 2 litres cold water
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 2 courgettes, diced
– 1 medium potato, diced
– 20g freshly grated Parmigiano (optional)
– 12 small slices of Altamura bread or sourdough bread, cut 1cm thick
– 120ml fresh cream or 50g goat’s cheese (optional)
– 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Sweat the onions in the oil for about 5 minutes, until they start to soften.
2. Add the rest of the vegetables except the courgettes and potato.
3. Pour in the water and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper and bring up to a simmer. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the courgettes and potato and cook for another 10 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before stirring in the grated Parmigiano. Using a hand blender, blitz the soup to a velvety consistency.
5. Toast the bread on both sides. Ladle the soup into small soup bowls with a swirl of cream or a knob of goat’s cheese on top, if using.
6. Serve with a slice of toast on the side and garnish with a little fresh parsley.
7. You might decide not to blend the soup, in which case I recommend adding a tin of strained chickpeas, lentils or borlotti beans to the pot 5 minutes before serving.
Here the table is the soul of the home – a place to come together, share food and thoughts, and spend valuable time with loved ones. Eileen’s recipes are designed to create conviviality and make every occasion a cause for celebration, whether you’re planning an annual holiday feast, a catch-up with friends or a special homecoming. Fill your home with the aroma of wonderful food, the sound of clinking glasses and happy chatter, while you create memories that you will treasure forever. To buy your copy visit www.gillmacmillanbooks.ie.