Molise: Cardoon Soup

Serves 4

1 kg Cardoons
1 litre meat stock
40 g butter
4 eggs
1 lemon
30 g extra virgin olive oil
100 g Grana Padano cheese
Salt, pepper
Molise: Cardoon Soup

Molise: Cardoon Soup. Remove the outer leaves of the cardoons entirely, strip off the ends and remove the filaments. Cut the cardoons into pieces of about 5 cm and immerse them in a bowl with water and lemon juice. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the cardoons removed from the water and lemon for a couple of minutes. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the olive oil and the blanched cardoons. Season with salt and pepper and sauté the cardoons for 5 minutes. Pour the cardoons into a pan and add the meat stock and cook for another 5 minutes. Take 4 cocotte and in each of them pour a whole egg beaten with a fork, add the grated cheese and pour in the drained cardoons and the hot broth. Your memorable cardoon soup is ready and should be served piping hot! Cardoon soup has been prepared in Molise with this traditional recipe since 1800. It is a typical winter dish that often appears in Christmas lunches and dinners. Very often the cardoon soup is also served with fried mixed minced meat balls. The thistle has been known since antiquity to the extent that this flower is associated with the Sicilian shepherd Daphnis, upon whose death (thanks to the intervention of Pan and Diana), the Earth, full of grief, gave birth to a plant full of thorns, the thistle precisely. The ideal accompaniment for cardoon soup is a light, even sparkling white wine such as Trebbiano.