Perfect for this season are soups and specifically vellutate. Vellutate are soft to the palate like velluto, like velvet. And are pretty enough to serve to company and friends but are incredibly easy to prepare and have as much or as little fat as you add.
So here's the secret:Make a basic vellutata and then separate into two batches. Your batch is lean, and you can add what you want. In the family batch you can add pieces of cooked pancetta (especially in the bean version), a swirl of top quality olive oil, toasted bread crumbs or shredded cheese: parmigiano or pecorino, emmenthal or your favorite cheese. You can also cook some pasta squares (maltagliati or quadrettini) in it.This batch is tastier and generally satisfies the finickiest of eaters.
Here are some recent vellutate that I've made. Adjust proportions to your personal taste.
Potatoes and zucchini
3 large potatoes
4 small skinny zucchini
1 large leek
salt & pepper
1 no glutamate vegetable stock cube
peel potatoes and wash. wash zucchini and cut ends off. cut ends off leek and wash. slice leek thinly and cook in a large saucepan until softened. Cut potatoes and zucchini into pieces. If you have time you can add them to your pot whole. cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes if veggies were cut up or 40+ min. if they are whole. test potatoes for doneness. when done. turn off heat and grab a submergible blender and blend until you get a smooth consistency. taste and add vegetable stock cube if necessary, add salt and pepper to taste. this is your basic vellutata.
Potatoes and bean soup
3 large potatoes
1 tetra pak box of white beans or borlotti
1 large onion
1 squirt of tomato paste
S & P
optional smoked pancetta, cooked separately and added at the end.
peel potatoes and wash. peel onion and wash, slice thinly or cube. cook onion with a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan until softened.
open box of beans, rinse well. Cut potatoes into pieces. If you have time you can add them to your pot whole. cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes if veggies were cut up or 40+ min. if they are whole. test potatoes for doneness. when done. turn off heat and grab a submergible frullatore and blend until you get a smooth consistency. add a squirt of tomato paste for color. taste and add salt and pepper to taste. this is your basic vellutata.
These soups are filling even without the add ons, are also fat free. More coming soon!