Soup for this chilly first day of Spring
Spring has truly sprung, as evidenced by these beautiful blossoms on the tree in our garden. However, the weather is still quite chilly, even on this first day of Spring, so today I made some soup.
The name of this soup is Kosksu. You might notice that the name is similar to "couscous", which is probably because the traditional pasta shape used in this soup looks like giant couscous. It's a Maltese soup, so to me, this reminds me of home, and Spring, when broad beans (a central ingredient in this soup) are in season in Malta. Here in the UK, I've had to substitute some of the ingredients as I can't find all of them. Nonetheless, the finished product is often very similar to the original that my mum used to make, and still makes, every Spring.
For about 8 portions, I use:
2 small onions, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped into 1 cm chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
250g frozen baby broad beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
vegetable stock (about 1.5-2lt)
250g frozen peas
200g kosksu or small pasta shapes
1 egg, beaten
250g mozzarella pearls, or chopped mozzarella (or ġbejniet if you're lucky enough to be living in Malta and can get some fresh ones!)
salt and pepper to taste
I start off by frying the potato and onions in a large pot. I let them cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Then, I add the broad beans and the tomato puree and I let that cook, stirring constantly for about 1-2 minutes.
Then I add the chopped tomatoes, peas and stock to the pot.
I let it come to boil and leave it to simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Then I turn up the heat and add the pasta. This is kosksu, the traditional pasta used in this dish. I was lucky enough to find some, but if you can't, any small pasta shape will do. I have used both orzo pasta and farfalline successfully.
Let the pasta cook for about 10 minutes in the soup, stirring constantly. This is important, otherwise the pasta might stick to the bottom of the pan as it cooks. When the pasta has cooked, turn off the heat and add the beaten egg, whilst stirring the soup. Don't worry, the egg will cook safely in the boiling hot soup. It will sort of scramble and make the soup thick and delicious!
Then, it's time to add the mozzarella pearls, or one of the other alternatives. I had to use chopped mozzarella today as I couldn't find the pearls.
Leave the soup to cool for a few minutes, as it will be boiling hot. I usually let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Bon Appétit!