This simple soup is a classic in Italian cuisine. I believe its origins are in Piemonte, but I suspect it can be found fairly broadly in Northern Italian cooking. I’ve made different versions before, but this one from Marcella Hazan is the best so far, and a new example for me. You’ll find the recipe in her book, Essentials of Classic Italian cooking.
One of the thrills for me tonight in making this soup was the opportunity to use a refurbished copper pot for the first time since it was re-tinned and polished. I’m not sure when I first acquired this pot, but it’s a heavy, well-made French fait-tout from Williams-Sonoma. It had lingered, unused for years, having been replaced by newer, lighter-weight pots of various kinds. It sat for 6 months on a table, awaiting its fate (do I sell it? or refurbish it?). Finally, I decided that it was too beautiful to let go, so I sent it to East Coast Tinning, and they made it like new in less than a week!
Marcella’s recipe is simple and straightforward, using 1 lb. of fresh spinach, 1/3 cup of risotto rice, chopped onion, and Barbara’s homemade vegetable stock, all finished with Parmigiano Reggiano. We added a few homemade croutons and opened a bottle of Lugana from Ottella,