This bowl of soup is why people get on a plane and travel. It can only be served in one place on earth and it tastes of that unique place and time.
You can’t make this soup at home. You can make a variation, but never this soup. In fact, this soup only exists for one day, one batch at a time.
It's a bowl of spring foraged green soup found in the mountainous area around San Piero in Bagno in Emilia Romagna. Yes, we had it at the famed Locanda al Gambero Rosso.
We would go there far more often if the road wasn't in such disatrous shape! I know it was a hard winter in the mountains, but..really??? We need to rent a Land Cruiser if we want to go back any time soon.
Moreno reminded us why we endured the dreaded E45 highway, as he showed us what was in the hills on Saturday morning. He had us taste a surprisingly lemony sprig of oxalis, a member of the wood sorrel family. He explained that he finds the flavor of lemons too strong, and prefers the gentle lemon of oxalis. It’s all about how you are raised, isn’t it?
I won’t even mention the tiny wild asparagus that we devoured. It’s the season for wild asparagus in central Italy, and there’s a certain pine forest outside of Ravenna that is famous for wild asparagus. If I mention this, you’ll get jealous and that wouldn’t be nice, would it?
We’re planting our orto, our vegetable garden, and I’m looking forward to tasting what will come out of our garden. You and I may plant the same San Marzano tomato plants, but yours may get more water, our soil may have different nutrients; they won’t taste the same. And that’s what makes both of our tomato plants so precious, so unique.
By the time we eat those tomatoes, we will have shared hot days, cool nights, too much or not enough rain.
“Eat local” is more that a slogan, it means you and your garden have shared a season together. It means you are getting closer to being in tune with your world, and that seems like a fine goal for a springtime Monday morning.
Enjoy the view, Montone in the distance, surrounded by Umbrian spring green. I got all misty eyed excited looking at all the gorgeous shades of green. Clearly I need to get out more often.