First courses

Pumpkin and mushroom autumn soup

Autumn in Tuscany means mushrooms, chestnuts, truffles and... pumpkin! The Valdarno area produces tons of a Tuscan pumpkin variety called “zucca lardaia”. Pumpkin was brought to Europe by Spanish settlers, but only in northern Italy does is it a commonplace ingredient in traditional dishes. Since it has a very sweet flavor in Tuscany you'll always find it combined with strong flavored ingredients such as onion, herbs and rosemary.

Pumpkin and mushroom autumn soup
Pumpkin and mushroom autumn soup

Let's travel to the heart of the Valdarno with the Italian Eye team and Chef Simone Del Puglia for a hearty autumn soup photo recipe. The location chosen for this photo shoot is Villa Barberino, in Meleto. Villa Barberino, was part of the republic of Florence, which was struggling against Arezzo.

Italian Eye (Pre-Raphaelite setting in Villa Barberino)
Italian Eye (Pre-Raphaelite setting in Villa Barberino)

From 1340, Meleto was the main town of "Avane's alliance", a federation of villages near Florence, whose headquarters were the castle of Barberino. Today, it is home to a resort with rooms, apartments, restaurant, a swimming pool and an Italian-style garden. 

Ingredients
  1. 1 slice of pumpkin
  2. 1 onion
  3. fresh porcini mushrooms
  4. salt
  5. extra virgin olive oil
  6. rosemary or parsley 
Method
  1. Cut the pumkin into small cubes and fry it in two tablespoons of olive oil together with the sliced onion,
  2. Cover with boiling salted water and cook slowly for half an hour,
  3. Cut the mushrooms into small cubes and fry them in another pan in two tablespoons of olive oil,
  4. Blend the pumpkin and the onion,
  5. Combine the pumking soup with the mushrooms,
  6. Add some toasted croutons, some leaves of rosemary and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Setting: Italian Eye  Photos: Steven Mayatt Recipe: Simone Del Puglia, Il Tributo restaurant (Villa Barberino)

 

About Italian Eye The Italian-I team works in London and around Tuscany setting up all kinds of events. Their mission is to create a cultural connection between London and Tuscany, bringing to Tuscany a bit of eccentricity and carrying to London some of the Tuscan food and wine tradition.

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Food and Wine