Pumpkin Soup with stracciatella and cime di rapaAug 9, 2019
Vellutata di zucca, stracciatella e cime di rapa
I first tried stracciatella on a holiday to Italy when friends from Puglia arrived laden with fresh mozzarella cheeses, burrata and stracciatella – all soft curd cheeses which are originally from Puglia. I fell in love with all of them and also loved the versatility of stracciatella, the filling of burrata, a soft curd cheese made of mozzarella strings pulled apart with cream and salt. At the time, I had never been able to find stracciatella here in Australia so when I discovered that “That’s Amore” had started selling the cheese, I knew I had to do something with it. Nowadays, stracciatella is much more readily available and makes an excellent accompaniment to leafy winter greens such as Cime di Rapa.
A quarter piece of pumpkin – Queensland Blue or Japanese variety – not Butternut
2 large shallots or 4 small ones
1 leek, white part only
A small bunch of cime di rapa (turnip tops)
200 grams of stracciatella (If you cannot find stracciatella, use the inside of one burrata)
1 ltr vegetable stock
2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
Pepper and freshly ground nutmeg
Black salt to serve
Clean and peel the pumpkin, chop in small pieces.
Finely chop the shallots and slice the white part of the leek very finely.
In a heavy based saucepan, sautée the shallots and leek in warmed olive oil.
Add the pumpkin and stir to coat it completely in the olive oil. Cook for a few minutes, until the pumpkin is slightly soft.
Add the vegetable stock to barely cover the pumpkin, between 800 ml and 1 litre of stock.
Cook for 30-60 minutes, or until the pumpkin falls apart, then puree with a stick blender.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, set aside.
Clean and blanche the cime di rapa for 5 minutes in simmering water.
(Allow a few springs and at least one flower for each diner)
When cooked, plunge cime di rapa into cold water to stop the cooking process.
Warm the pumpkin soup again, drop the cime di rapa in hot water for one second to warm before serving.
Serve the soup with a generous dollop of stracciatella on top, a few leaves and flowers of turnip tops and a sprinkle of black salt.