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

Serves: 4


Oven: 170C (fan assisted)

Baking dish, lined, 12 x 8’


4 large eggs

60g butter, softened

90g Parmigiano Reggiano (plus extra for serving)

80g semola di grano duro rimacinata

¼ tbsp freshly grated nutmeg

Salt & pepper to season

1.5 litre stock


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan-assisted). Line your baking dish with butter and parchment paper.
  2. Into a bowl add the eggs and butter, beat with a wooden spoon.
  3. Sprinkle in the Parmigiano Reggiano and the semola flour, stir and add the nutmeg.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. 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.
  6. Warm the stock, adjust and check the seasoning as required.
  7. Remove the pasta biscuit from the oven and lift onto a wooden board.
  8. Allow the pasta biscuit to cool slightly.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut the room temperature pasta biscuit into symmetrical little squares approximately 1cm square.
  10. Add the cubes to the stock. Warm for 5 minutes and ladle into warm bowls.
  11. 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.