Soup alla Canavese is really a simple soup recipe. Funnily enough I'd spent more than five years living in Piedmont (in Italy's north-west) before I actually got to taste this recipe. Even weirder was the fact that I had to find myself in hospital, for a minor operation, before I got to eat it.
Normally hospital food is pretty horrible but in Italy, at least in the hospital where I was a patient, it was excellent.
The menu on the first night included this Soup alla Canavese as the starter. I ordered it expecting very little but instead I was very pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately they didn't allow seconds but since then I have continued to enjoy it regularly and this recipe here is the one I always use.
Four ounces of butter,
One stick celery
Two leaves of sage,
Four tablespoonsful of tomato puree
1) Chop up an onion, a carrot, a stick of celery, a little bacon fat, and fry all together in four ounces of butter.
2) Cover them with a good white stock, boil for a few minutes, sieve, and add four tablespoonsful of tomato puree.
3) Blanch a cauliflower in salted water; let it cool and drain. Break it into little bunches and add to the stock with two leaves of dried sage, crumbled up, and a little bit of chopped parsley, let it all boil together; add in a pinch of grated cheese and some pepper to taste.
4) Serve with grated Parmesan
Serves up to 4 people