Cream of pumpkin with stracciatella and turnip tops

May 11, 2015

Vellutata di zucca, stracciatella e cime di rapa

This soup recipe was inspired by the availability of stracciatella here in Melbourne. 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 loved them and I also loved the versatility of stracciatella, a soft curd cheese which can be used in many dishes. I had never been able to find stracciatella here in Australia. When I discovered that “La Latteria” had started making the cheese I had to do something with it, this is the result. Stracciatella is the filling of burrata, mozzarella strings pulled apart, cream and salt, just amazing!

Ingredients for 4 people
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 – Available at La Latteria (If you cannot find stracciatella, use the inside of one burrata)
1 lts of vegetable stock
2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
Pepper and freshly ground nutmeg
Black salt to serve

Pumpkins cropped

Clean and peel the pumpkin, chop in small pieces.
Finely chop the shallots and the slice the white part of the leek very finely.
In a heavy based saucepan, sauté 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 softer.
Add the vegetable stock to barely cover the pumpkin, between 800 ml and 1 lt of stock.
Cook for half an hour to one hour until the pumpkin falls apart.
Whiz the vegetables with a stick blender, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Clean and blanche the cime di rapa for 5 minutes, set aside a few springs and at least one flower for each diner, when cooked refresh in cold water, drain.
Warm the pumpkin soup again, drop the cime di rape in hot water for one second.
Serve the soup with a quarter of the stracciatella per person on top, a few leaves and flowers of turnip tops and a sprinkle of black salt.