Zuf: a pumpkin soup from Friuli Venezia Giulia

“Zuf: pumpkin soup” recipe – Zuppa di zucca

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes

Zuf: a pumpkin soup from Friuli Venezia Giulia. The ingredients

Total Cost: UK/£ 4,56*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 0,91*

From the cooking traditions of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Zuf: pumpkin soup. Almost unknown even in Friuli, the region where it belongs. And also the not so many who know it have their own family recipe: typical! This is my Grandma G.‘s recipe, so I am sure she must have shared it with her friends at the hair salon…

Between cooking and alchemy

The soup in itself is very simple: pumpkin, milk and a thickening agent. So the pumpkin must be very good: tasty and sweet. If dull, none of the other ingredients will give it any flavour. The honey or the sugar are optional and must be added a bit at a time. The salt must be minimal or the sugar will strengthen it and ruin the soup. The lemon zest and the vanilla paste (tiny quantities!) will bring the soup to the verge of being a pudding, but not any further. It’s almost a matter of alchemy! I hope you will accept the challenge and try to make it.

Love it or hate it

True: you either love it or hate it. Although, I do remember my cousin A. loved it so much that one day he ate almost the whole huge saucepan all alone. He got sick with such a huge indigestion that even now that he’s almost 50 years old, he turns green if you just mention “Zuf”… but maybe I shouldn’t have told you this…

Cultural contamination

The Amaretti (the cookies) are an optional: Grandma G. never used them but I wanted to add them because it’s a typical match in Mantua, where ravioli are filled with pumpkin and Amaretti. Try it, and let me know what you think!

Related posts

Baking a pumpkin: the best way for keeping all its good flavours

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin (baked pulp) - 500gr (800 to 900gr if raw and not peeled)

  • Whole milk - 1,5lt

  • Plain flour - 80gr

  • Butter - 90gr

  • Salt - 2gr

  • Honey - 8 to 10gr (optional)

  • Vanilla pod - a quarter or a third

  • Lemon zest - 1 small (unwaxed)

  • Amaretti cookies - 2 to 4 depending on the dimensions

  • Extra virgin olive oil - as needed

  • Utensils

  • One baking tray

  • One backing paper sheet

  • One spit or skewer or similar

  • Two 3 to 4lt saucepan

  • One paring knife

  • One chef knife

  • One chopping board

  • One wooden or silicone spatula

  • One potato ricer

  • One ladle

  • One hand blender

  • One cooking probe (optional)

Instructions

  • 1.
    Baking the pumpkin

    • Pumpkin (unpeeled, raw and with seeds) - 800 to 900gr
    • Extra virgin olive oil - as needed
    • One baking tray
    • One backing paper sheet
    • One spit or skewer or similar
    • One paring knife
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board

      Set the oven to 180°C and start heating it.
      If you have a whole pumpkin, roughly wash the pumpkin and dry it. Pour some olive oil on the top and spread it al over Pierce the pumpkin's top in several points with a spit or a skewer - or similar - running it through the meat and reaching the hollow centre. Bake the pumpkin for about 60-70 minutes, according to how big it is.
       Take the pumpkin out if the oven and cut it in quarters. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and the stringy core. Then cut it in smaller wedges and and peel them using a chef knife or paring knife (see the step by step method here).
      Otherwise, clean it from its seed and cut it in 2cm thick slices (keep the skin). Place it on the oven tray and bake it for about 30 minutes. Then peel it using a paring knife.
      For this recipe, the pumpkin meat can be used straight away with no need of letting it chill down completely.

  • 2.
    Boiling the milk and making the white roux base

    • Whole milk - 1,5lt
    • Plain flour - 80gr
    • Butter - 90gr
    • Vanilla pod - a quarter or a third
    • Lemon zest - 1 small (unwaxed)
    • Two 3 to 4lt saucepan
    • One wooden or silicone spatula
    • One paring knife

      Put milk to boil in a saucepan over medium heat (step 2 - pic. A). With a paring knife, peel the lemon collecting its yellow zest. Do not cut the white skin and try to make the pieces as large as possible so it will be easy to spot them and take them out later. Set aside.
      Cut a piece of vanilla pod, halve it and collect its pulp, then set aside.
      When the milk starts boiling, put the other saucepan on a low heat with the butter and melt it slowly.
      Then add the flour to the melted butter, stir evenly and continuously while increasing the heat to a medium power (step 2 - pic. B). When the mixture starts bubbling lightly on the edges, the “white roux” will be ready for the next step.

  • 3.
    Adding the baked pumpkin and hot milk

    • The boiling milk (half of it)
    • The white roux
    • The baked pumpkin meat
    • Salt - 2gr
    • One wooden or silicone spatula
    • One potato ricer
    • One ladle

      Add the pumpkin to the white roux pressing it through a potato ricer (step 3 - pic. A). Stir it evenly together with the roux.
      When the mixture has warmed up (step 3 - pic. B), add the boiling milk ladle by ladle letting it be incorporated completely each time (step 3 - pic. C).
      Add the 2gr of salt and stir evenly.

  • 4.
    Processing the mixture and adding zest and vanilla paste

    • The left over boiling milk
    • Honey - 8 to 10gr (optional)
    • The vanilla pulp
    • The lemon zest
    • One hand blender

      Process the mixture with a hand blender to make it perfectly smooth (step 4 - pic. A).
      Then, add the rest of the boiling milk, the vanilla pulp and the lemon zest (step 4 - pic. B). Stir continuously and let the soup get thicker while gaining temperature.

  • 5.
    Cooking the soup over 92°C

    • One cooking probe (optional)

      Flour gels cook at 92ºC so you will need to keep stirring the sauce until it gets to that temperature and then let it boil for another 6-8minutes (step 5 - pic. A).If you do not have a probe to check the temperature, simply let it cook for ten minutes after the it starts bubbling along the edges.
      Then the soup if ready (step 5 - pic. B).

  • 6.
    Serving the soup

    • The soup
    • Amaretti cookies - 2 to 4 depending on the dimensions

      Crush the Amaretti cookies into quite chunky crumbs. You will need about half a cookie for each portion.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Baking the pumpkin

    • Pumpkin (unpeeled, raw and with seeds) - 800 to 900gr
    • Extra virgin olive oil - as needed
    • One baking tray
    • One backing paper sheet
    • One spit or skewer or similar
    • One paring knife
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board

      Set the oven to 180°C and start heating it.
      If you have a whole pumpkin, roughly wash the pumpkin and dry it. Pour some olive oil on the top and spread it al over Pierce the pumpkin's top in several points with a spit or a skewer - or similar - running it through the meat and reaching the hollow centre. Bake the pumpkin for about 60-70 minutes, according to how big it is.
       Take the pumpkin out if the oven and cut it in quarters. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and the stringy core. Then cut it in smaller wedges and and peel them using a chef knife or paring knife (see the step by step method here).
      Otherwise, clean it from its seed and cut it in 2cm thick slices (keep the skin). Place it on the oven tray and bake it for about 30 minutes. Then peel it using a paring knife.
      For this recipe, the pumpkin meat can be used straight away with no need of letting it chill down completely.

  • 2.
    Boiling the milk and making the white roux base

    • Whole milk - 1,5lt
    • Plain flour - 80gr
    • Butter - 90gr
    • Vanilla pod - a quarter or a third
    • Lemon zest - 1 small (unwaxed)
    • Two 3 to 4lt saucepan
    • One wooden or silicone spatula
    • One paring knife

      Put milk to boil in a saucepan over medium heat (step 2 - pic. A). With a paring knife, peel the lemon collecting its yellow zest. Do not cut the white skin and try to make the pieces as large as possible so it will be easy to spot them and take them out later. Set aside.
      Cut a piece of vanilla pod, halve it and collect its pulp, then set aside.
      When the milk starts boiling, put the other saucepan on a low heat with the butter and melt it slowly.
      Then add the flour to the melted butter, stir evenly and continuously while increasing the heat to a medium power (step 2 - pic. B). When the mixture starts bubbling lightly on the edges, the “white roux” will be ready for the next step.

  • 3.
    Adding the baked pumpkin and hot milk

    • The boiling milk (half of it)
    • The white roux
    • The baked pumpkin meat
    • Salt - 2gr
    • One wooden or silicone spatula
    • One potato ricer
    • One ladle

      Add the pumpkin to the white roux pressing it through a potato ricer (step 3 - pic. A). Stir it evenly together with the roux.
      When the mixture has warmed up (step 3 - pic. B), add the boiling milk ladle by ladle letting it be incorporated completely each time (step 3 - pic. C).
      Add the 2gr of salt and stir evenly.

  • 4.
    Processing the mixture and adding zest and vanilla paste

    • The left over boiling milk
    • Honey - 8 to 10gr (optional)
    • The vanilla pulp
    • The lemon zest
    • One hand blender

      Process the mixture with a hand blender to make it perfectly smooth (step 4 - pic. A).
      Then, add the rest of the boiling milk, the vanilla pulp and the lemon zest (step 4 - pic. B). Stir continuously and let the soup get thicker while gaining temperature.

  • 5.
    Cooking the soup over 92°C

    • One cooking probe (optional)

      Flour gels cook at 92ºC so you will need to keep stirring the sauce until it gets to that temperature and then let it boil for another 6-8minutes (step 5 - pic. A).If you do not have a probe to check the temperature, simply let it cook for ten minutes after the it starts bubbling along the edges.
      Then the soup if ready (step 5 - pic. B).

  • 6.
    Serving the soup

    • The soup
    • Amaretti cookies - 2 to 4 depending on the dimensions

      Crush the Amaretti cookies into quite chunky crumbs. You will need about half a cookie for each portion.

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Zuf: a pumpkin soup from Friuli Venezia Giulia
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