Monday, July 16, 2012

Vegetable Soup, Italian Army

Classic Vegetable Soup, Italian Army, 1936-45
(La classica minestra di verdure)

This recipe was adaptable to using whatever fresh vegetables were locally available. It cautioned that in order to produce a good soup, one should add sufficient water in the beginning and not add more water later during the cooking process. 

Yield: 4 servings

U.S.                             Metric                       Ingredients
50 g                             50 g                             salt pork or bacon
1 clove                         1 clove                         garlic
1medium to large           1medium to large         leek
1 tbsp                           15 ml                           butter
1 tbsp                           15 ml                           oil
3 medium                     3 medium                    potatoes

Vegetables in season, such as:
1-2 small to medium    1-2 small to medium    zucchini
1 head                          1 head                         celeriac
½ head                         ½ head                        cauliflower
½ cup                           120 ml                         English peas, shelled

2 quarts                        2 liters                          water
to taste                         to taste                         salt
to taste                         to taste                         pepper
2 cups                          500 ml                         cabbage, shredded
2 tbsp                           30 ml                           parsley, chopped
5 oz (6 fl oz)                 150 g                           rice, uncooked

1.      Cut the salt pork into ¼” pieces.
2.      Clean the leeks well, cut in half lengthwise and then into ¼” slices
3.      Cut the potatoes and other vegetables into ½” pieces.
4.      Place bacon, garlic, leeks butter and oil into a large casserole or pot.
5.      Cook over medium-low heat until the bacon is rendered but not completely crisp.
6.      Add the potatoes and all the vegetables
7.      Stir and cook for several minutes.
8.      Add two quarts of water. Add more water if necessary to cover the ingredients, and enough to insure that more water does not need to be added later during the cooking process.
9.      Lightly season with salt and pepper.
10.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours
11.  Twenty minutes before serving, add the cabbage, parsley and rice.
12.  When the rice is cooked al dente, adjust the seasoning.
13.  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. 

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