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October 10, 2013

A Wonderfully Warming Soup – Pumpkin and Parmigiano Reggiano

by Val Reynolds

Parmigiano Reggiano And Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup JPEGIt’s Pumpkin time! We love that wonderful orange flesh in pies, cakes and soups. We found this Parmigiano Reggiano and pumpkin soup recipe – always a great winter warmer and a great starter for a Halloween celebration.

It’s really easy to make – just combine fried onion, pumpkin, vegetable stock and Parmigiano Reggiano rind and cook until tender. Add grated Parmigiano Reggiano to the vegetables, remove the rind and blend the mixture until smooth.

To serve, sprinkle the soup with fresh parsley, top with French bread with melted Parmigiano Reggiano and season.

Full recipe is included below.

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, known as ‘Parmesan’, is one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses, still produced today as it was nine centuries ago.  Totally natural, it’s the only cheese with a minimum maturation time of 12 months, although its best at 24 months. Did you know it takes 16 litres of milk to produce one kilogram of cheese!  It’s easy to digest and is high in calcium.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) product. PDOs are defined and protected by European Union law in order to defend the reputation of regional foods. This mark ensures that Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced in designated areas of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River.

For more information on Parmigiano Reggiano at www.parmigianoreggiano.com.

Parmigiano Reggiano and Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4-6

150g (6oz) Parmigiano Reggiano, with rind

25g (1oz) butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 medium pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks

900ml (1½ pt) hot vegetable stock

150ml (¼ pt) milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

4-6 slices French bread
Fresh parsley or thyme, chopped to garnish

Reserve the rind from the Parmigiano Reggiano and cut it into chunks, then finely grate

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and gently fry the onion until softened
Add the pumpkin, vegetable stock and Parmigiano Reggiano rind and cook gently for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender

Remove the rind from the saucepan, transferring the soup to a blender and add the grated cheese, reserving 25g (1oz) for garnishing. Blend the soup, until smooth. Return it to the saucepan and add the milk. Stir thoroughly and reheat until piping hot

Toast the slices of French bread, sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano on top and grill until melted. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each portion with one piece of French toast

To serve, sprinkle with fresh parsley or thyme and season with black pepper

Penny, our resident cook, says: You could try other cheese of course, low fat cheddar is excellent. We make this soup for six and then freeze a couple of portions ready to reheat. It makes a really comforting snack on a very cold day. We wouldn’t go on a long, bracing walk without a flask of this soup. A welcome, wonderful warmer. Can’t say enough about it!

Information provided by The Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano   Photography: Steve Lee  Recipe and Food Styling: Sue Ashworth

Val Reynolds, Editor

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