Monday, 22 August 2016

Zucchini Blossom Stracciatella

I have made stracciatella a regular part of my soup repertoire this year. As the seasons change so do the vegetables used, but the basic and very easy technique stays the same.

With the very high levels of heat and dryness this year, the zucchini plants have been more prone to make male blossoms than female blossoms. Making fruit is a much more resource-intense process. So, I put some of them to use in this soup. They are actually very mild as are most of the veggies in this soup. They mostly add colour and texture, while it's the basil and garlic that really sing.

In spite of the eggs and cheese this is a fairly light soup, and even if it just serves 2 will need at least a roll if not a sandwich to keep it company. For 4, it would make a good starter to a meal.

2 to 4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Zucchini Blossom Stracciatella

1 medium zucchini
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
12 to 16 zucchini or squash blossoms
2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil leaves
2 large eggs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive or sunflower oil
3 cups unsalted chicken stock
freshly ground pepper to taste

Wash, trim, and cut in small dice the zucchini. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Separate the petals from the rest of the blossoms; discard anything not the petals. Rinse the petals, roll them up, and cut them in fine shreds. Do the same with the basil leaves.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl with the Parmesan cheese. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot.

Cook the zucchini and onion in the oil over medium heat until softened and slightly browned. Add the zucchini blossoms, garlic, and basil, and cook, stirring, for another minute or so until well wilted. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the soup up to a simmer. Season with pepper to taste (and salt too, if you don't think the cheese added enough).

When the soup is simmering, pour the egg and cheese mixture slowly into it, stirring the soup fairly briskly as you do so. The more briskly you stir, the smaller the shreds of egg and cheese will be.

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