For a few months, I posted every week a healthy recipe on Benessere.com: these recipes were based on seasonal fruit and vegetables, easy and light cooking methods, wholesome ingredients, whole flours, beans, and other cereals. The project ended in September, but I am still craving that kind of food. So, I thought I would share them with you here, as they are quick, easy, wholesome recipes perfect for busy weeknight meals.
Potato and Savoy cabbage soup
I had a few vegetables sitting in the fridge and in the pantry for way too long, they needed a good end of their story: half a Savoy cabbage, a few yellow potatoes from Val di Chiana, one single red onion, a leek, and a heart of celery. Just chop them and collect them in a saucepan with some water to simmer, and you make a soup. Easy.
Well, to tell the truth, there’s something more that will make you lick the spoon until shining, and clean the bowl with your finger: first, your best extra virgin olive oil, second, a few toasted black peppercorns. Toast the pepper and finely chop it with your knife: this will infuse an exotic taste to your soup. These two ingredients make a huge difference. End with a spoonful of grated aged pecorino, end enjoy your soup.
This potato and Savoy cabbage soup is what we call vellutata in Italy.
The English word soup translates to several Italian words. It can be a zuppa, when there’s some bread in it, a minestrone, a brothy soup with diced vegetables that can be enriched with pasta, rice, barley, or farro, or a vellutata, as in today’s recipe, when the vegetables are pureéd and thickened into a velvety soup.
Potato and Savoy cabbage soup
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 leek, white part, finely sliced
- 1 celery heart, finely chopped
- 2 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
- ½ ball Savoy cabbage, finely sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- Fine sea salt
- A few black peppercorns
- 4 tablespoons aged Tuscan pecorino, grated
- Cover the bottom of a medium pot with extra virgin olive oil. Add the finely sliced onion and leek and season with a big pinch of salt. Cook over low heat until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the diced potatoes, the minced celery, the sliced Savoy cabbage, and the bay leaf, stir, and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in hot water to cover all the vegetables, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 25 minutes. You should be able to easily mash the potatoes with a wooden spoon against the pot.
- Remove the bay leaf and blend all the vegetables with an immersion blender until you get a smooth soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Simmer the soup on a medium flame for about five minutes or until it reaches the thickness you like.
- Toast the peppercorns on a pan for a couple of minutes until you can start smelling their pungent aroma. Transfer the peppercorns to a cutting board and finely chop them with a knife.
- Pour the soup into four serving bowls, drizzle with your best extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle the black pepper on top. End with the grated pecorino cheese and enjoy.
More recipes with Savoy cabbage from the blog archive
- Grilled sausages and Sauerkraut. Today we won’t follow the fermentation route, but we’ll opt instead for a cooking process that gives the cabbage a delicate sweet and sour taste. You start by finely slicing the cabbage with a sharp knife or, if you have it, with a slicer or a mandolin. The finer, the better. Once you have finely shredded the cabbage – beware, it tends to multiply its volume, only to reduce again once cooked -, blanch it in a pot of salted slightly acidic water, thanks to a little white wine vinegar. The blanching will soften the cabbage, leaving it al dente. Now drain the cabbage and place it under cold running water to halt the cooking process.