Saturday, October 19, 2013

Passata del Vedure

This is one of the keepers from a cooking class I took in Florence. The name of the school was Le Cordon Bleu. I would never have chosen a cooking school with a French name in Florence but my amica del cuore, Laura wanted me to go with her so I did. Thankfully the teachers were Tuscan and for the most part they stuck to Italian cuisine but I know they had spent time in France because they kept sneaking butter into the recipe's. Tuscan's who have never left Tuscany usually only use olive oil in their cooking. I personally am glad to be living in a region that only uses olive oil because as soon as I start to use butter the seal affect takes over (a layer of fat starts to form under my skin as if my body was preparing for a very cold winter) .

I am diverging but I can't help talking about olive oil because as I write they are picking the olives out my window and I know very very soon I will have the taste of wonderful spicy olive oil hitting the back of my throat. Olio nuovo. Sigh. It is seriously one of the best things about living in Tuscany. When it is freshly pressed the flavor is so intense and spicy. After a couple of months it fades unless you freeze it. It is worth the price of a ticket just to taste the olive oil coming out of the press.

Ok back to the passata del vedure. It is a soup made of your vegetable of choice (I always use broccoli but you can use what you like). I made this for Shad and Davis (an American friend living in our village) after school one day. After he arrived home his mother called and said, "My son was telling me how good lunch was and I want to know how you got my son to eat broccoli?" So this is a soup but it is really just the most delicious way to eat broccoli. It might even convert a few skeptical children.


About 4 cups chopped broccoli (500 grams)
2 or 3 starchy potatoes
4 tablespoons of oil
3 cups or more of stock
1/2 teaspoon of curry
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
oil for decorating the top or cream


Clean and chop the potatoes and vegetables. In a heavy pot heat the olive oil, and add the potatoes. Cook on medium heat but don't brown for a few minutes. Add curry and stir. Add the broccoli and stir until bright green. Add the stock and boil for about 10 minutes until everything is tender.

Remove from heat and puree' with an immersion blender. Adjust with stock if too thick.

Serve with whatever decoration on top you like (oilve oil, stream of cream) and fresh chives if you have them.

Bon Appetito! 

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