Tuesday, 9 February 2016

An interesting soup ingredient

When we were over in France at Christmas-time we bought a few foodstuffs and ingredients to bring home with us, one of which was this:

These are vermicelli, or fine noodles, flavoured with Potimarron, a type of Winter Squash (Cucurbita Maxima), sometimes called a Hubbard Squash. According to the list of ingredients on the pack (blessedly short!) the vermicelli includes 4% of the Potimarron. The French name "Potimarron" is a merger of "Potiron" (Squash) and "Marron" (Chestnut), which will give you an idea of the taste - which is nutty. The most commonly encountered variety of this vegetable is Uchiki Kuri.  Researching this, I found that "Kuri" is the Japanese word for Chestnut. Hardly a coincidence, I suppose!

These vermicelli are evidently intended for use in soups because they are chopped into convenient 2cm lengths. This makes eating your soup a lot easier than would otherwise be the case.

This is the recipe for the soup I made:

1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Approx 200g celeriac, peeled and diced
4 or 5 spears of Sprouting Broccoli (or equivalent green veg, perhaps cabbage), chopped into 2.5cm lengths
75g vermicelli, or similar fine noodles
1.5 litres stock
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 squeeze from a tube of tomato puree (mainly to add colour)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan and soften the onion, carrot and celeriac, without browning
Add the stock and the Sprouting Broccoli
Simmer gently for about 15 -20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still firm
Add the vermicelli and simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes until they are fully cooked and soft (not "al dente")
Season to taste

This is the end result:

The taste of this soup was indeed "nutty", but also ever so slightly sweet, just like a pumpkin is. Nice!


  1. Such an interesting pasta! I don't think I've ever seen squash in pasta. On pasta, yes, but not in it! The soup looks tasty.

    1. This is why I love visiting foreign countries - everywhere has different food and ingredients to offer.

  2. The soup does look delicious. Like Dave, I've not heard of squash pasta before - I do enjoy nutty flavours, so I have a feeling I would quite like it.

  3. I bet you have to take an extra suitcase when you go to France.

    1. Sue, you are right, but we usually take lots of presents for the family on the way out, so we have a "spare" suitcase to fill on the way back!

  4. The soup looks delicious! I don't think we'll get that kind of ingredient here. Interesting indeed!


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