Acquacotta or Tuscan Soup

by Paola - Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Acquacotta or Tuscan Soup

Literally, ‘acquacotta’ means ‘cooked water’. This is the Tuscan version of ‘Stone soup’. This was once a very humble soup made out of a little tomato, onion and celery boiled in water and poured over old toasted bread. Nowadays cooks use their imaginations to add to it a variety of seasonal ingredients.

Lentil soup, another one of Tuscany's famous soup options.

I have found two recipes for acquacotta, one from Siena and one from the Tuscan Maremma, the marshy region with cowboys and cowherds. You can make the following recipe vegetarian by substituting fava beans for the sausage and adding Swiss chard and celery.

This recipe from Siena requires the following ingredients for 6 people:

Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 oz fresh porcini or button mushroom

3 oz sweet Italian sausage, skinned and crumbled

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

10 oz plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped (canned are OK)

6 cups water

Salt and pepper

6 slices coarse country bread

Buon appetito!

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Paola - Paola Malpezzi-Price was co-founder of ExperiencePlus! Specialty Tours, and now advisor to Monica and Maria Elena as they run ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours. Paola retired in May 2014 from being the Chair of the Foreign Languages and Literature department and teaching French literature and culture, Italian literature and culture in translation and Women's Studies courses at Colorado State University. She has published two books: Lucrezia Marinella and the "Querelle des Femmes" in Seventeenth-Century Italy (2007) and Moderata Fonte - Women and Life in Sixteenth-century Venice (2003), both by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.