If there is one season that Abruzzo stands out for its dishes, it’s for the woodland flavours of Autumn.
One of the rustic hearty soups that you’ll find served inland at the agriturismi and restaurants that span the Apennine highlands is this pumpkin, porcini mushroom, chestnut, and farro one that is a meal in itself.
The chestnut gives the soup a sweet background and as Niki Segnit remarks pumpkin/squash and mushroom pairing is a fairytale, the earthiness of the pumpkin makes them highly compatible. The elegant father of wheat, farro (spelt) or you can substitute barley provides a nuttiness and along with the chestnuts ensures you leave the table comfortably sated! I could happily eat it a few times a week right through to Christmas, changing the herbs and adding a little guanciale or pancetta to give it a different twist.
Roadtrip to Il Rifugio il Ceppo
(This restaurant served the bowl in the photo last Sunday, recipe adapted from Abruzzese food blogger, Essenza di Vaniglia)
Chestnut, Porcini, Pumpkin & Farro Soup
- 200 g 200 g Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 150 g Borlotti or Brown Beans
- 100 g Farro
- 100 g Porcini, Chantrelles, or Chestnut Mushrooms If you use dried mushrooms, reduce the quantity! 20/30 g will be enough!
- 50 g Roasted Chestnuts peeled If you can't roast, boil them by cutting in half for 10 minutes in their shells and then deshell and add to the soup mixture for the final 30 minutes
- 1 L Water
- 1 Onion
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Celery
- 4/5 Sage leaves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste