Cream veggie soup: my favorite recipes

I’ve been in love with soups for a few months, with a particular passion for the cream soup. They are warm, comforting, healthy, light, nourishing and easy to prepare. I love to go to the market and choose the vegetables, go back home and start cleaning and chopping carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, celery and so on. I can smell the freshness of vegetables and it makes me feel so close to the earth where these products come from. There’s lots of ways to cook a delicious vegetable soup and it’s nice to change, experiment and create new recipes.

Here are my 5 favorite cream soups, the ones I love to prepare and eat in cold evenings. The portions are for 4 if you plan to have another course either before or after the soup, otherwise the portions have to be considered for 2 people.

LETTUCE cream SOUP

I found out this recipe thanks to Giallozafferano (famous Italian food blog) and I fell in love with it, especially because it taught me how to use lettuce in an different way!

Recipe:
Start making the vegetable stock (750cl). Sweat the sliced leeks in a pot with some oil. Take the lettuce and get rid of the external leaves, use the remaining leaves, wash and slice them into strips and add them to the pot until the leek becomes translucent. Cook for a few minutes and then add the stock. Keep cooking for 20 minutes on low heat, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Drain the lettuce and blend it separately. Add 30g of breadcrumbs to the water you used to cook and stir gently. Add the cream of lettuce and keep cooking it until you get the desired texture.

Lettuce and yogurt cream soup with homemade brown bread © Sg

Lettuce and yogurt cream soup with homemade brown bread © Sg

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Trenette with homemade pesto, potatoes and green beans

Pesto comes originally from Liguria, a coastal region in the North of Italy. I don’t come from that region so in theory I wouldn’t be entitled to teach anything about pesto, a great product known and loved by everyone. And at the same time I shouldn’t be talking about trenette, which is an amazing type of narrow and flat pasta coming from the same region. However I have a very close friend of mine who comes from a town called Alassio in Liguria; she gave me her personal recipe of trenette with homemade pesto. This dish is a variation of the classic pesto and I want to share it with you because I think it’s great!

Trenette with pesto

Trenette with pesto © Le ricette di Lara

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Bean soup: the recipe to warm the heart

Amsterdam is a wonderful and international city, full of opportunities and dreams but certainly, the weather is not at its best. Autumn begins very early: while Italians are still going to the beach and my friends start complain because they have to put a blanket on their bed, I’ve already been wearing scarves and sweaters for weeks. The end of last summer (weather wise) was terrible and the rain and the wind were incessant: August was a preview of what we had to expect in the months to come.

So what can I do when I arrive at home completely soaked after a long working day? My personal remedy is cooking a bean soup that warms the heart and reminds me that Autumn and the cold can be nice. The smell of the bean soup in the kitchen makes me thinking of the evenings spent in the mountains when I was a kid, the lazy lunch on Sundays, the winter trips to Tuscany, the beauty and the ease of slow cooked food.

Vegetable bean soup with borlotti beans, lentils, barley and chickpeas

Vegetable bean soup with borlotti beans, lentils, barley and chickpeas © Sg

I am a great lover of beans: simple but complex ingredients, genuine but versatile and they are a core element of great dishes belonging to more than one Italian regional cousine. I love looking for several beans types at the market  or at the organic food stores and then combine them in different ways.

Over the years I have tried a lot of bean soup recipes, but the more I experiment the more I believe my favorite one is the one from the first cookbook I ever bought (a REAL book made of paper!): “Il Cucchiaio d’argento”. Here is my favorite bean soup recipe!

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Classic Italian lasagne Bolognese: my traditional recipe

Lasagne means comfort food to me. Vegetarians aside, everybody loves lasagne. Full of taste, fragrance and tradition. When I eat this dish I can say I’m happy. The most difficult step in making lasagne is the preparation of bolognese sauce. In this post I’ve explained how to make it according to my legendary mum’s recipe. Once the bolognese sauce is ready, put it aside and dedicate yourself to the bechamel sauce and to assemble the remaining ingredients. I’m sure your lasagna will be a success!

Lasagne bolognese

Lasagne bolognese © Pianeta donna

ingredients to make lasagne for 4 PEople

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How to make homemade tagliatelle: the original recipe

In Italy I have an amazing neighbor: she’s from Emilia Romagna and she has a radiant personality, I can talk to her about anything and everything, she has always delicious cookies at home and she makes fresh pasta at least once per day (I quote her: ‘making pasta brings joy’). She worked in several countries in Europe, she can speak 4 different languages, she’s truly passionate about ayurveda and spices. She’s a very interesting person. It’s a pity she spends 6 months per year in Emilia-Romagna, because in Milan there’s not enough sun and ‘there’s no respect for those who want to cycle’.

Everytime we are both in Milan I go to her place to get some cooking lessons with a particular focus on classic recipes from Emilia-Romagna. I believe Italian people who love cooking should know how to roll the dough to make fresh pasta or how to prepare a proper filling for tortellini. It’s part of our culture and of who we are.

Last time we met we prepared tagliatelle with borage, a delicious variety of the more common version with spinach. Here is the recipe my sweet neighbor taught me!

Flour, eggs, borage

Flour, eggs, borage © Sg

TAGLIATELLE: INGREDIENTs for 6 people

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