When I was in Tuscany, I couldn’t resist ordering Tuscan soup often made with slightly stale, but wonderful Italian bread. The bread is comforting and gives the soup a unique flavor. It inspired me to create the recipe at the bottom of this post: Tuscan Bread Soup with Vegetables.
- 3 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large red onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 stick of celery diced
- 4 medium potatoes skinned and diced
- 5 med sized zucchini diced
- 1 15 oz can cannellini beans drained (smoosh some of them)
- 1 leek, (white part cleaned and diced
- 1 bunch of swiss chard leaves cleaned, patted dry and loosely shredded
- 1 bunch of Tuscan kale (dark) or any kale cleaned, patted dry and loosely shredded
- 1 savoy cabbage leaves cleaned, patted dry and loosely shredded
- filtered water
- 3 Tablespoons of Italian tomato puree
- 2 days stale Tuscan bread or crostini
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil.
- Saute the onion until it's translucent
- Add all the vegetables except for the cabbage, and chard.
- When all the vegetables have sweated their juice, cover them with hot filtered water.
- Add the shredded cabbage, kale and chard.
- Cover and simmer for 1 hour over medium heat.
- Add the beans, and pepper and simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir frequently so that the beans will not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the tomato puree.
- Slice the stale bread and layer it in an earthenware casserole or heavy pot.
- Alternate layers of the bread with the soup until the bread is well soaked.
- Let the soup stand out for 1 day.
- To serve, add the desired quantity to a sauce pot and re-boil it.
Tuscan Hill towns
The images below are from some of the hill towns we visited. If you’re ever in Italy, make sure to visit.
If you’re ever in Italy make sure to order Tuscan Bread Soup
It’s a simple recipe to make and is loaded with nutritious seasonal vegetables. There’s barely anything else added except for water and a little salt and pepper. Let the cooked soup sit overnight with the bread layered into it, then spoon out what you’re going to eat and re-boil it for the next day so the flavors of the vegetables get a chance to blend.
“Souping” has become very popular these days. According to an ABC News segment, it’s this year’s juicing. It’s a healthier way to eat because juicing take out all the fiber of the vegetables and fruit and leaves mostly sugar. Vegetable soup, on the other hand, is filled with nutrition and fiber. You could “soup” this recipe if you don’t add the bread, by putting all the cooked vegetables into a blender.
I prefer to enjoy my soup with chunks of vegetables and cannellini beans intact. Cannellini beans are popular in Italy. Check out my popular Sardinian Style Minestrone recipe. It includes cannellini beans as well.
If you live in a cold climate, or even a warmer one (it’s been about 80 degrees here in Los Angeles) you will find this Tuscan soup recipe filling, comforting, and cleansing.
You may also like to try my recipe for Tuscan Garbanzo Bell Pepper Soup.
What’s Your favorite soup? Please leave a comment below.