Brodo Abbrustolito

You must know by now that I am naturally attracted by recipes calling for unusual ingredients or unusual combinations of ingredients. Just the name here caught my attention.

When I saw this soup recipe in ”Italia, La Cucina Deliziosa”, by Accademia Italiana Della Cucina, I knew I had to try it. The book offers ”all of Italy’s traditional cuisine in 1890 recipes”. Unfortunately, it is only available in Italian and French for the time being. You can consult their website, though, and they have free monthly online magazines in Italian and English. This month, they present an article on Lasagna through the centuries. A very interesting read.

Brodo Abbrustolito, or toasted broth, is a specialty originating in the Venetia region and is part of La Cucina Povera, poor people’s cuisine. It was made when there was nothing else to put on the table. Originally, it used lard and toasted flour, giving it its characteristic toasted flavour. It was also used as a cure for acute diarrhea.

With time, the toasted flour was replaced by cumin which brings the same toasted aromas and the combination with toasted bread and marjoram is just delightful. I enjoyed this soup very much and I hope you will too.

toasted broth

Toasted broth

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 liter (4 cups) water, low-sodium chicken or low-sodium vegetable broth
2 eggs, beaten
1 or 2 sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves only, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
cheese (parmesan or pecorino), for serving
toasted bread slices

Method:

1. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat and whisk in the flour and cumin.

2. Whisk for one minute to remove the raw flour taste. Add the water or broth gradually, making sure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt, pepper and the marjoram.

4. Add the eggs to the broth in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Let the soup thicken for a moment.

5. Place a piece of toasted bread in a warm serving bowl and ladle the soup over it. Add cheese and serve immediately.

Toasted broth

4 replies »

  1. I was raised on flour soup, which I always loved, even though, like you said, it was peasant food. For my mother, who lived during the war in northeast france, it was sometimes all they had. The cumin switch is very interesting. Great post!

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