Cooking from My Books “The Italian Country Table” Chilly Day Marble Cutter’s Soup

Tutto fa brodo. Anything goes, literally “everything makes broth”. 

It means that everything can find its usefulness. The ingredients of the broth are different, they can also be scraps, such as the peel of vegetables or the scraps of fish cuts. Yet broth is the key ingredient for the success of tasty soups and risottos. Even what seems useless, or waste, turns out to be important.

Today I thought that I had a nice dinner planned from my weekly menu plan, but when I started out to plant some herbs in pots I immediately thought nope it is a soup kind of day given the chilly temperatures. Days ago I spent some time perusing a few of the couple hundred cookbooks on bookshelves that I own and thought that it would be fun to spend some time cooking from them more than I have lately and chose “The Italian Country Table” by Lynn Rosetta Kaspar for starters making a list of recipes according to what I have in the freezer, fridge, and pantry. Most importantly to me was a slight addition family sausage seasoning

I saw no problem with cutting the recipe in half for the two of us but I winced at the suggested addition of water knowing that I have a couple of great stocks that would boost the flavor of the soup, I mean after all I was not on the site where marble is is cut where I’m sure there was not a hearty stock of any kind to be found and water would have to do. As with many of my “Italian” soup recipes a nice chunk of Parmesan rind or a piece of pecorino makes for a nice tasty bowl of soup and yes, serve with one of the recommended cheeses.

I found a 5 grain Italian bread (Publix) that I love and set slices out to dry for the day and one would only need a side salad or a small charcuterie plate for a great casual dinner.

I also used the Instant Pot, sauté the veggies and after adding all of the ingredients seal the IP set on High for 5-8 minutes, allow pressure to come down for 15 minutes, and quick release.

Thinking Sangiovese or Barbara wine to go with…

Since I had leftovers I am planning on a simple pasta dish with the “soup ladled over and served with grilled Italian sausages.

Find the link to Lynn’s recipe below, recipe is slightly adapted.

  • 2 medium red onions-1 for 1/2 of the recipe
  • 1/2 medium carrot-1 used 1 whole carrot for 1/2 of the recipe
  • 1 small stalk celery with leaves-I used 1 large rib for 1/2 the recipe
  • 4 branches Italian parsley
  • Robust extra-virgin olive oil-about 2 tablespoons went in my pot
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    *optional pinches of Italian sausage seasoning
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced-2 into 1/2 of the recipe
  • 1/2 tightly-packed cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 to 3 pounds delicious ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or one 28-ounce can and one 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, drainedyes I use all f the tomatoes for 1/2 of the recipe
  • Water-sub chicken or vegetable stock if you like
  • 12-ounces (about 3/4 loaf) rugged country bread of mixed grains (without fat or sweeteners), sliced and left to dry for a day
  • More olive oil to drizzle into each bowl
  • About 6-ounces Pecorino Toscano, Pecorino di Pienza, Toscanello, American sheep cheese (like Trade Lake Cedar), or young Asiago, shredded (optional)-I shaved in some Parmigiano Reggiano
  • *additional basil for each bowl fresh basil, chopped (optional)

1. Finely dice the onion, carrot, celery, and parsley. To a 6-quart pot add oil and set over medium heat. Stir in the minced vegetables, with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté to rich golden brown in about 8 minutes. Blend in garlic and basil, and cook another minute. Add tomatoes, crushing them with your hands. Boil 10 minutes, or until thick and flavorful.

2. Stir in 6 cups water/stock, or a ladleful for each diner. Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered, or until soup is only slightly reduced. Taste for seasoning. Just before serving, break up the bread into bite-sized pieces and add it to soup, or place the bread in the soup bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls and serve hot. The soup is also good at room temperature.

3. Sprinkle each serving with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and generous black pepper. A little chopped fresh basil is a modern touch, and a very good one. Serve with extra grated cheese.