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The soup is a light fare even with potatoes and rice in it. That is I think the one thing I noticed about the Italian soups that I have made over the last couple of years. My memory of an Italian soup is usually associated with the Minestrone, a thick pasta soup that I once tried while still living in the US. That particular soup was delicious but very gloopy and heavy. I think I like the more authentic version of a lighter Italian soup which allows you to enjoy a more varied meal since it gives you enough room in your stomach to go for a second and even a third course.
Zucchini and Potato Soup - Adapted*
3-4 medium zucchini, diced
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves, dried
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, diced
2 carrots, diced
3-4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup short-grained rice
10 cups beef stock
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese to pass along
1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the oil and saute
the garlic and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook
until softened. Add the bay leaves and mix.
2. Add the broth into the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drop the rice
and mix well to prevent from clumping. Cook covered for about 10
minutes while stirring occasionally.
3. Add the potatoes, zucchini (or chayotes) and the carrots and cook until the
rice is al dente.
4. Stir in the mushrooms and check for flavor. Adjust accordingly.
5. To serve, drizzle with a good amount of extra virgin olive oil and top with
the chopped parsley. Pass the cheese around the table if desired.
*Lidia's Italy: Zucchini and Potato Minestra.