Zuppa Con Agnello-
“When the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful”, our appetites turn to hearty and warm – but we also like to keep it fairly healthy. At the turn of the new year, food is all about comfort and for me – my favorite soup which is a Tuscan standard – SOUP WITH LAMB or ZUPPA CON AGNELLO.
It’s origins: This soup comes to us from Grosseto in Tuscany where raising sheep is an art form, and the resulting Pecorino cheese, made from sheep’s milk, is the pride of the area.
Why is this simple soup my favorite? When you taste it, you’ll know. This soup is so easy and quick to make you’d think it can’ possibly be that memorable. On the contrary, it is positively luscious in its richness. The ground lamb is the magical ingredient, I think. It has to be. Here’s why! You put the soup together and after tasting you might think – ho hum. Not so fast. Something happens to the soup when it simmers the hour and twenty minutes required. I’m about to tell you what it is. It’s the LAMB! As the soup simmers, the ground lamb emits a rich flavor that takes over and transforms it from a pot of ingredients to something very special.
It is so special that this transformation does not occur if you decide to use ground beef – so don’t! It ‘s the lamb, baby. You can take it to the bank.
While you’re there, you can deposit something else – and that is, that this soup is fairly healthy. It is full of mostly fresh garden ingredients. If you must, you can always add some pasta to it, to make it more hearty, but you really don’t need it. I prefer to serve this soup the Tuscan way with a slice of crusty bread brushed with olive oil and toasted. Now THAT’S goodness!
Oh! And before you ask, yes you CAN make this in your slow cooker!
I think your family and friends will come running back for more when they taste this one. AND – You can assume a smug expression, when you think of how little time and effort went into the making of this amazing soup. One thing I’ll guarantee – it won’t be the only time you’ll make it!
Let me introduce you to my favorite soup.
SOUP WITH LAMB
(ZUPPA CON AGNELLO)
Serves: 6 (approx.)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour and 20 minutes
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Onion – chopped
4 Cloves Fresh Garlic – chopped finely
12 Baby Carrots – chopped
2 Stalks Celery – chopped
3 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Tbsp. Fresh Sage – chopped
1 lb. Ground Lamb
1 Cup White Wine ( use a nice one and drink the rest with your soup!)
14 oz. Can Tomatoes – chopped
6 Cups Chicken Broth
1 cup of peas ( can be frozen or fresh)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Crusty bread or baguette- sliced, brushed with Olive Oil and toasted on the grill or in the oven
Grated Pecorino Cheese
Saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, and sage in the olive oil until just tender- about 5-6 minutes.
Add ground lamb and brown.
Then add the white wine. Cook in a couple of minutes.
Add the tomatoes, broth, peas, salt and pepper.
Simmer uncovered for about an hour and 20 minutes.
Serve the SOUP WITH LAMB over a slice of crusty bread, brushed with olive oil, and toasted with plenty of grated Pecorino Cheese. Oh, and a roaring fire can’t hurt!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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