As Marcella Hazan explains in her book that there is no place in the Italian repertory for puréed soups, or potages as the French would call them. All Italian soups should have some texture.
This is a perfect example of this. We, as North Americans, are not used to eat textured zucchini in our soups. We are all familiar with cream of zucchini soup, and we have had that frequently, but taking time to cut the zucchini in a very small dice, to make a satisfying and consistent soup is not a task that everyone will take time to do. I suggest you sit down and make this, however, as this soup was absolutely delectable.
This soup is an example of Neapolitan cuisine at its best, and, unfortunately, a bit forgotten today. It should be quite thick, and I suggest adding water only if necessary. Cooking the zucchini over low heat, with a pinch of salt, covered, should be enough to create its own, tasty broth.
If using Pecorino Romano cheese, don’t be shy on the freshly ground black pepper, and feel free to serve it over toasted bread if you don’t mind the carbs.
Minestra di zucchine cacio e uova
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 kg zucchini, finely diced
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 rounded tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the zucchini in a small dice (0.5 cm cubes) and set aside.
- In a soup pot over medium-low heat, cook the onion in the oil for a few minutes, until soft.
- Add the zucchini, and a good pinch of salt, and stir to combine.
- Lower the heat to low, cover, and let cook until the zucchini is completely soft, about 30 minutes, stirring once in a while. Add a bit of water if you want.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs with the cheese and the parsley or basil, a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper.
- When the soup is cooked, take it off the heat, stir in the egg and cheese mixture, mix well and serve immediately, with more pepper and cheese at the table.