Taste of Italia: Vellutata di Patate

When you think of Italian food, there are certain dishes that instantly come to mind – rich pasta dishes, decadent cheeses and creamy gelato. One food that Italians aren’t instantly recognisable for, however, is soup. Which is a shame, as Italy’s wealth of seasonal vegetables, tasty herbs and outstanding oils, combined with the classic Italian knack for finding the perfect flavours to blend together, mean that the country is actually responsible for a variety of delicious soups that are designed to make your insides warm and your taste buds tingle.

This creamy potato soup is the perfect example of Italian winter dining done right. Considered a classic amongst the locals residing next to the dramatic mountains and stunning coastline of Abruzzo, this soup partners potatoes with saffron, resulting in a dish with a fragrant scent, sunny golden colour and just a light kick from the added chilli flakes. Buon appetito!

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400g potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 large pinch of saffron


First, prepare the vegetables – chop the potatoes and the onion, and mince the garlic clove.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and then brown the onions. Once the onions are golden, add the garlic and chilli. Continue to fry for 1 minute, before adding the potatoes and stirring to combine the ingredients.

Next, cover the potatoes and onion with water and add the saffron. Bring the water to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender and soft.

Once the potatoes are cooked, season the mixture to taste. Next, use a stick/hand blender to blitz the mixture until it is smooth and silky.

Serve the soup in bowls, dressed with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch more chilli.