Saturday, August 1, 2009

Minestrone di Cipolline

I've always been a big fan of French Onion Soup.

But to be honest, I never cared much for how the French tell me that, "I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." (If you don't get it, just skip ahead while a bang these to coconut halves together.)

So today I made Minestrone di Cipolline or Italian Country Onion Soup from the cookbook Ciao Tuscany, a collection from the PBS series Cucina Toscana. (Win a free copy of this cookbook here!)

Minestrone di Cipolline
Serves 6-8

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 each yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced (I roasted several bulbs today and used the pulp from 3 cloves)
1/2 cup tomato puree
6 cups vegetable or beef broth
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
7 ounces vermicelli, broken into 1" pieces (let your kids do the breaking, it's fun!)
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

Preheat a soup pot and then add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato puree and roasted garlic and simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a boil while stirring. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Taste and then season the soup with salt and pepper. I found it needed almost no salt and added maybe 1 T of pepper.

Bring to a boil and add the pasta pieces, cover and cook until the pasta is al dente (6-8 minutes in our case).

Serve topped with shaved parmigiano reggiano pieces and homemade croutons.Alexis and the boys loved this, devouring it like wolves. Wait, I'm not sure I've ever seen wolves eat soup. They devoured it with a broken jaw and straws (sorry Greg).

I made this as the first course to Wolfgang Puck's Spaghetti and Meatballs (post forthcoming) but I think it would be better suited to a hearty beef dish. The flavor and texture were satisfying but made my mouth want to eat more!

Don't forget! Enter my giveaway to possibly win your copy of this cookbook. All it takes is a link and it's for a great cause!