Zuppa Dei Dogi

Doge’s Soup


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This warming, flavoursome dish is based on a very old recipe from the kitchens of the Doge’s Palace in Venice. It is supposed to represent all the beauty and riches of the city, with the intense colours of precious stones reflected in the beetroot, carrot and courgette. The little golden rice balls represent Venice’s great wealth, and especially that of the Doge’s Palace, and are intended as a reminder of Venice in all her glory, with sunlight glinting off the water and the golden orbs of the churches.


  • 150 g/5 oz/2/3 cup long grain rice
  • 50 g/2 oz fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 litres/ pints/ cups meat stock, strained
  • 1 large beetroot/beet, boiled for 1 hour, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large carrot, boiled for 20 minutes and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large yellow potato, peeled, boiled for 20 minutes and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large dark green courgette/zucchini, boiled briefly, then cut into matchsticks
  • 60-90 ml/4-6 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  1. Cook the rice in boiling water to cover for 10 minutes, or until still quite firm. Drain the rice and transfer to a bowl.

  2. Add the fontina cheese to the rice and mix until well blended. Add the egg, Parmesan cheese and olive oil and mix thoroughly.
  3. Shape into walnut-sized balls with dampened hands. Place the balls on a plate, cover with clear film or plastic wrap and chill until required.
  4. Bring the meat stock to the boil in a pan and add the beetroot, carrot, potato and courgette matchsticks.

  5. Simmer the vegetables for 5 minutes. Do not allow them to cook any longer or they will lose their shape.
  6. Coat the chilled rice balls in flour. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy pan until a cube of bread, dropped in the oil, browns in 45 seconds.

  7. Deep-fry the rice balls, in batches, until they are crisp and golden. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  8. Put the rice balls into individual soup plates and ladle over the soup. Serve immediately or the rice balls will lose their crispness.