A soup of two halves

A soup of two halves

By
From
Sicily
Serves
6-8

This soup is a bright green bowlful of health and flavour. It’s perfect for using up any greens lurking in your fridge, or if you have a glut of leafy veg. Use both the white and soft green parts of the spring onions or leeks to make the base. My inspiration came from the tenerumi soup so enjoyed in late summer and made with the leaves of the long green courgettes (zucchini). To serve, we like to grate feta cheese on top in place of salted ricotta, add a pile of (bell) peppers and then scatter over herbs in two halves so that you can have a mouthful of soup with wild fennel or dill or one with mint. It makes a great talking point at the table as people debate which one they prefer.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 red or yellow peppers
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
or 2 leeks, trimmed and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
500g assorted leaves, such as spinach, carrot tops, baby kale, chard, parsley, rocket, watercress, lettuce
25g parsley leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
25g basil leaves
1 litre stock, such as vegetable or light chicken, or water
salt
freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
200g salted ricotta or feta
handful two different herbs, such as dill or wild fennel, mint or basil or coriander or chervil or sweet cicely
extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the peppers on a baking tray and cook in the oven to blacken them – this should take around 20 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl and cover with cling film (plastic wrap) to sweat and cool. Meanwhile, fry the onions or leeks, celery and garlic in the oil in a large saucepan over a gentle heat for around 10 minutes or until the vegetables have begun to soften.
  2. Add the leaves and herbs and stir through. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the leaves to soften for around 5 minutes.
  3. At this point, peel the peppers under cold running water, deseed, roughly chop and set aside. Remove the soup from the heat and blend using a stick blender. If you use a blender or food processor, blend in batches so that hot soup doesn’t leak out. Check the seasoning and serve straight away, or allow to cool and store in the fridge until you need it. It will keep for 3 days in the fridge.
  4. Serve the soup in wide bowls with ricotta or feta grated over and a pile of the roasted peppers on top. Sprinkle the herbs in two different areas, give a final twist of black pepper and a swirl of good extra-virgin olive oil and serve. Ask your guests to guess the flavour. They will probably say different things depending on where they start eating!
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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