Biscuit soup – Zuppa Imperiale
Tis the season to make soup. I adore a well-made soup, in-fact I love soup so much that I could eat it most days through the colder months. The problem is, I need bread, and lots of it. Dipping a rustic slice of bread into a piping hot soup just echoes comfort and always nostalgia. From a simple red pepper and tomato soup with a chilli heat hit to an onion soup, a sweet pea and lemon soup, topped with a little fresh pesto, to a hearty minestrone soup, potato and pasta soup and my sensational biscuit soup.
Zuppa imperiale or biscuit soup hails from the region of Emilia Romagna in Italy with love. I have enjoyed two different versions of this soup before and love and enjoy it a little more every time. A pasta soup with a difference yet it oozes, comfort, health and when I eat it with a spoon, I feel like I am being held tightly and kissed on the top of my head. Traditionally served with capon stock, which is a pure joy, I also love and enjoy it equally with my basic chicken or vegetable stock.
This soup can be made with shop bought stock, a stock pot or stock cube, however as always, freshly made is always best. The soup focuses on making a loose mixture that is then baked and sliced into small cubes. Then the biscuit cubes are warmed in your chosen stock.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Oven: 170C (fan assisted)
Baking dish, lined, 12 x 8’
4 large eggs
60g butter, softened
80g semola di grano duro rimacinata
¼ tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
Salt & pepper to season
1.5 litre stock
- Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan-assisted). Line your baking dish with butter and parchment paper.
- Into a bowl add the eggs and butter, beat with a wooden spoon.
- Sprinkle in the Parmigiano Reggiano and the semola flour, stir and add the nutmeg.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the mixture into your prepared baking dish and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes or until lightly golden in colour.
- Warm the stock, adjust and check the seasoning as required.
- Remove the pasta biscuit from the oven and lift onto a wooden board.
- Allow the pasta biscuit to cool slightly.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the room temperature pasta biscuit into symmetrical little squares approximately 1cm square.
- Add the cubes to the stock. Warm for 5 minutes and ladle into warm bowls.
- Top with extra Parmigiano Reggiano and a little black pepper.
Carmela’s tip: Add a handful or two of frozen peas and a little lemon zest just before you serve, for a little sweetness and freshness.