The cold and the tramontana (that cold north wind) make you want soup, it’s time for pumpkins. After the halloween party there is something for all tastes: from mantovana to cappello del prete (literally the priest’s hat). Each recipe has its pumpkin and each town has its own particularities.
Queen of the table in Emilia Romagna, the pumpkin tortelli from Ferrara are famous and appreciated all over the world.
Yet not very much found in the traditional Lazio cuisine, the pumpkin was once a second rate product often relegated to the feeding of the house animals. They were the last products of the zucchini plant that were used for seeds. Now it is cultivated in a decisive manner also in Lazio and now it is present on every market bench.
I’ll make a cream soup with carrots. Orange for ever!
Today I feel decidedly orange, the colour that symbolizes inner harmony, artistic and sexual creativity. It makes optimists and fights depression. I think that after this soup I can emanate strength and wisdom!
Of course I will never be Dutch, who have the orange flag in honour of the Royal family of Orange, and I am not a Hindu. But it is interesting that in Christianity orange indicates ‘gluttony’, and perhaps I am a little sinner in this sense.
Here is my recipe for pumpkin and carrot cream soup
It starts as always with a visit to the Via Trionfale Market where I go to choose the right pumpkin and fresh carrots, those that still have the tuft of grass and are not in a plastic bag.
When I arrive in the kitchen I take a soup pot and melt a knob of butter and brown a clove of garlic and a few grains of pepper. The pepper only serves to flavour with the scents of the East and I remove it soon after.
Add the pumpkin and the carrot cut into cubes and cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. When the scent has reached the right point, I add some water almost to cover.
Let it cook on low heat until it becomes a cream with the help of a whisk. At this point I set the salt and with the electric mixer I give the last touch to the cream (or make it velvety for those who want to give themselves a character).
It’s now time for some croutons: dice some old bread and toast it in the pan without anything. When ready, still hot, put the bread in a paper bag and add some freshly grated nutmeg. Then close and let cool.
A variation is the cinnamon for a touch of Christmas that for this period does not hurt.
The ideal wine? For me a Grechetto dei Colli Martani, a Traminer.
I drank a Barbarossa an old wine from Forlì, decidedly like the Colli Romagnoli, not apt to match the plate but I like it that way.