Barbara’s turn to cook tonight, but I get to suggest the recipe. While researching a Panforte recipe (seasonal, yes, but not something we will make), I was studying my book, The Italian Baker, by Carol Field. In it was an appealing Ligurian vegetable soup, which — when matched with Barbara’s superior dicing skills — made an excellent match.
Notice the drippings of olive oil and soup above to authenticate the recipe. We did ad lib slightly, by adding some reconstituted dried Italian porcini and associated liquid. Anyway, about an hour after she embarked on the cooking, we had a delicious dinner, with the soup finished by croutons from my semolina bread from last week and some excellent Ligurian olive oil on top.
My wine of choice for the dish would have been a Rossesse di Dolceacqua. However, not currently being in possession of a bottle of this charming red wine, I went deep into my wine stash to uncover a northeastern Italian red with similar soft tannins. The choice was a 1998 Castello di Buttrio Marburg, a blend of Pignolo and Refosco grapes, nearly as obscure but almost as delectable. Another Sunday night supper casa mia.
Best of all, with the holiday bearing down upon us, this soup also provides a range of options for an easy dinner tomorrow night as well. Plenty of leftovers, which can go with any number of choices:
- small pasta shapes in vegetable sauce
- soup with lentils or beans or rice added
- reinforced soup, with more garlic and tomatoes
- Ligurian vegetable smoothie in the morning (not really!)
On an unrelated note — but equally foodworthy — I can provide a glimpse of an excellent dinner we had last night at a tapas restaurant in Portsmouth, NH. We had gone first to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, for a most interesting Hat Exhibition on Saturday afternoon, followed by dinner in Portsmouth at Cava Tapas and Wine Bar. We split eight small plates and a few glasses of wine, the details of which I will provide with my TripAdvisor review when published. Here is a snippet from that meal:
patatas bravas • garlic aioli • fried herbs / 6