Sunday, March 07, 2010
#32 Potato, semolina and cheese soup
It’s strange how when we need new ideas, we usually search far away and never look at our door step. This is what happened while I was researching for this recipe.
I’ve been thinking about a semolina soup for a while, and tried many Italian cookbooks and culinary websited but never found The One. Yesterday, purely by incident, I stumbled across this potato and semolina soup from the region of Yambol, in my native Bulgaria. Who would’ve thought that we had really old and traditional recipe for semolina soup!?
It calls not only for potatoes but also for quite a lot of finely ground semolina and promises a nice, mild flavoured and comforting dish. Following the spirit of this blog, I decided to add a touch of fusion and took it further south, towards Greece, by adding a pinch of nutmeg and a very strong Greek cheese, called kefalotyri. If you can’t find it, use some good parmesan or other strong, mature cheese, such as chedar. Next time I go home, I’ll make it with Bulgarian kashkaval cheese. I bet it will be good!
To serve 4
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp fine semolina
200 g potatoes, diced into 1/2 cm cubes
150 ml milk
2 l water
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 tbsp double cream
40 g Greek kefalotyri cheese – diced into 1/2 cm cubes, plus 15-20 g grated cheese, to garnish
In a deep pan, gently melt the butter and allow it to burn slightly - this will add wonderful depth to the flavour.
Add the semolina and stir for a few minutes until it changes colour.
Add the black pepper and nutmeg and stir for 30 seconds.
In a jug, mix the milk and water and star adding it to the semolina, taking care not to form any lumps.
Season with salt, bring the soup to the boil and add the diced potatoes.
Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes have softened.
Take the soup off the heat, pour in the cream and add the diced cheese.
Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle some more cheese on top.