Potato Dumpling Soup: A Modern Twist on a Classic Italian Recipe
Discover a modern take on classic Potato Dumpling Soup, blending traditional Italian flavors with contemporary culinary twists.
Ingredients for Potato Dumplings:
- 500 grams potatoes
- 40 grams butter, softened
- 40 grams grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs (reduced from the original recipe)
- Nutmeg, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 150-200g flour (adjusted based on potato variety)
Ingredients for Vegetable Broth Soup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 small leek, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 parsnip diced
- 1 red bell pepper
- 6 cups of water
- Salt, to taste
For the Basil-Infused Oil:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- Parmesan and fresh basil for garnishing
- Large pot for boiling potatoes
- Potato masher
- Mixing bowl
- Frying pan
- Blender (for basil-infused oil)
- Strainer or fine-mesh sieve
- Soup pot
- Kitchen knife and chopping board
It's time to breathe new life into a classic recipe, adapting it to our modern cooking methods and tastes. And today's focus is an Italian gem from the precious pages of "L’arte Di Mangiar Bene," written by Pellegrino Artusi in 1914.
I have to admit that due to its simplicity, this recipe gave me a little bit of a hard time trying to resurrect it in a modern way. Why? Because I wanted to keep it just as simple, yet to add something fresh to it, all without altering its taste.
So after multiple attempts to stay true to the original, I present my contemporary version of the Potato Dumpling Soup, or as the Italians call it, Minestra di Bomboline. Here it goes:
I will take each section at a time so I can better explain the steps. However, you can prepare them at the same time.
For the Potato Dumplings:
- Boil the potatoes until tender (15-20 minutes), peel and mash them.
- Mix in butter, parmesan, eggs, nutmeg, and salt. Gradually add flour, adjusting the amount based on the potatoes' consistency.
- Form small, walnut-sized balls of dough.
- Fry the dumplings in hot oil until brown.
- Then drain on paper towels.
For the Vegetable Broth Soup:
- Sauté onion and leek in olive oil and butter until soft.
- Add garlic, cook for a minute, then add remaining vegetables, salt, and water.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
For the Basil-Infused Oil:
- Blanch basil leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds.
- Quickly transfer the basil into a bowl with ice water.
- Drain the water, blend the basil with olive oil.
- And strain.
Note: Basil-infused oil, when homemade, should ideally be used within a few days, especially if kept at room temperature. If refrigerated, it can last up to 1 to 2 weeks.
- Strain the soup, discarding the vegetables but keeping the broth.
- Add the dumplings to the hot broth and cook on medium heat for about 30 seconds.
- Take off the heat and plate.
- Serve with grated parmesan, basil oil, pepper, and fresh basil.
Tip: don't hold back on the parmesan. It really makes it better.
Now, before we discuss more, I want to offer you the chance to look at the original recipe and see which one version your style more.
The Original Recipe:
- 500 grams Potatoes
- 40 grams Butter
- 40 grams Grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Eggs
- Nutmeg, to taste
- Cook and mash the potatoes.
- Mix in butter, parmesan, eggs, and nutmeg.
- Form into small balls and fry until golden.
- Serve the fried dumplings in soup with boiling broth.
Adapting the Original Recipe:
In my journey to perfect these potato dumplings, I've made a crucial adjustment to the original recipe. Initially, following Artusi's instructions, I found the dough to be too mushy, which led to less-than-ideal dumplings. My solution? Reducing the number of eggs and increasing the flour. This tweak significantly improved the dough's texture, making it more manageable and less sticky.
A Note on Potato Varieties:
It's important to consider the type of potatoes used. The varieties available in Romania, where I'm adapting this recipe, might differ significantly from those Artusi used over a century ago in Italy. This variance in starch content and moisture levels can greatly affect the dough's consistency. So, I encourage you to experiment with the egg and flour proportions.
The goal is to achieve a pliable, non-sticky dough that holds its shape when cooked.
The original recipe doesn't offer any soup recommendations. That's why I decided to go with a classic vegetable soup. It works really well, in my opinion. But again, feel free to use any soup you love.
Personal Reflections and Usage of Leftovers
Incorporating basil-infused oil into this classic Italian dish is my way of adding a contemporary touch without losing its authentic charm. The aromatic oil elevates the soup's flavor profile, providing a fresh and herbaceous note that complements the dumplings and broth beautifully.
As for the Parmesan, it's more than just a garnish; it's a nod to the heart of Italian cuisine. Adding it to the soup before serving not only enriches the flavor but also pays homage to traditional Italian cooking practices.
Managing Leftover Dough:
When it comes to the dough, I've found that making the full quantity can be too much for just two people. Therefore, I typically use only half of the dough for the dumplings.
The leftover dough offers an excellent opportunity for creativity. One of my favorite uses is to make pan-fried flatbreads, which turn out wonderfully crisp and flavorful. These flatbreads can be a delightful side or a snack on their own.
Alternatively, the dough freezes well, so you can easily save it for another batch of fresh dumplings or flatbreads in the future. This approach ensures no waste while still enjoying the dumplings at their best – freshly made.
Frequently Asked Questions:
As always, I want to try to answer some questions that might arise when reading this recipe before leaving this discussion.
Q: What to serve with Italian soup?
A: Serve with crusty bread, a side salad, or a light appetizer for a complete meal.
Q: How can I store leftover dumplings?
A: Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. Reheat gently before serving.
Q: Can the soup be made vegan?
A: Yes, replace butter with plant-based butter, omit the eggs, and use vegan cheese.
Q: How to ensure the dumplings don't fall apart while cooking?
A: Make sure the dough isn't too wet, and fry the dumplings until they form a crust before adding them to the soup.
Through these adjustments and personal touches, this Potato Dumpling Soup recipe becomes not only a delightful culinary experiment but also a versatile addition to your cooking repertoire. Whether you stick to the traditional method or embrace the modern twists, this dish is sure to bring the essence of Italian comfort food to your table.
Nutrition Facts / Serving
- Calories 469
- Total Fat 28 g
- Cholesterol 77 mg
- Sodium 600 mg
- Potassium 1050 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 44 g
- Sugars 8 g
- Protein 14 g