Minestra alla Viterbese

Vegetable Soup with Semolina


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This is a typical country summertime soup, prepared when all the vegetables are at their peak of luscious ripeness. This recipe is from the pretty town of Viterbo, which has a few age-old culinary specialities that have passed the test of time.


  • 1 large, very ripe tomato
  • 1 large courgette/zucchini, sliced into thin matchstick strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, grated
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 8 parsley sprigs, finely chopped
  • 9 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints/5 cups cold water
  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup semolina
  • 25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra to serve
  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve


  1. Plunge the tomato into a bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Remove the skin and seeds, and chop the flesh.
  2. Put the tomato, courgette, onion, garlic, celery, potato, carrot and herbs into a large pan. Add the cold water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a medium heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Trickle the semolina into the simmering soup in a very fine stream, stirring constantly with a strong wooden spoon. Simmer the soup for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the cheese. Allow to cool slightly before serving with extra Parmesan and butter on top.