The Volterrana Soup, flavours of simplicity

A typical dish of peasant cuisine that passes on simple and genuine tastes.

Tuscany is a region that boasts a long and ancient history of soups andacquecotte’, especially the Maremma area that gets to count as many types as it has districts. A vast cookbook that, as is often the case with all the Italian cuisine, draws from the peasant cuisine and the magical combination of basic ingredients that, in almost all cases, have given rise to great traditional dishes. Local vegetables such as the tasty black cabbage or beans were added to raw ingredients such as the rind, offal and other parts of the pork that, in addition to giving character to the dish, shouldn’t be wasted under any circumstance. What are now dishes found on the menus of typical restaurants were once the daily life that boiled in the pots of the grandparents’ kitchens. The Volterrana Soup is an excellent example: a delicious triumph of seasonal vegetables slow-cooked with Tuscan oil and then soaked in bread.

The classic recipe involves cooking two boxes of white beans with water, a small onion, a clove of garlic and a piece of rind. Meanwhile, fry over a slow fire a few slices of rigatino cheese, wrought onion, celery and a carrot. After half an hour, around 250 grams of ripe tomatoes are added, as you continue cooking. You then fry half of cabbage – preferably black – together with beets and a thinly sliced potato, adding hot water, salt and pepper. Once the beans are cooked, add them to the other vegetables and cook for three or four hours over a slow fire. When it is time to serve on the table, the soup should be put in a bowl alternating with slices of stale Tuscan bread. The taste and scents of this corner of Tuscany in one dish.


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