We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
- Dish type
- Vegetable soup
We have the Italians to thank for bringing this humble soup into our kitchens. Today, we are just grateful that we have a hearty, tasty way to use up leftover ingredients that create a deeply-satisfying meal that is not only well-balanced and healthy, but simple to throw together.
1 person made this
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 70g (2 1/2 oz) white onion, diced
- 120g (4 1/4 oz) roma tomatoes, diced
- 120g (4 1/4 oz) carrots, diced
- 70g (2 1/2 oz) celery, diced
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) pepper, diced
- 1.5L (1 1/2 qt) vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- fried egg for serving
- bread for serving
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min
- Heat olive oil in a stock pot. Add onion, tomatoes, carrots, celery and pepper. Sautee until it starts to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock, basil and marjoram. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Put bread slices in serving bowls and top with fried egg. Ladle soup over the bread.
See it on my blog
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(0)
Reviews in English (0)
Tuscan Vegetable Soup – Acquacotta
Acquacotta is an Italian vegetable soup with very humble beginnings. The word acquacotta literally translates from Italian to mean “cooked water.” It is what I think of as the Italian version of stone soup. Making something of nothing.
Start with a pot of plain water, and then add what you have. A bit of stale bread, some vegetables from the neighbor’s garden, maybe a bit of left over Parmesan cheese. And then to make it just that much more hearty, add a poached farm-fresh egg.
From meager beginnings, the soup is elevated to perfection with a little help from your friends (or whatever leftover vegetables that linger in the fridge).
Pin or bookmark the post for later!
The finished soup, with the addition of the vegetables, beans, cheese, bread and a creamy poached egg is filling and delicious. It is perfect for lunch on a cold day or eaten as a light weekday dinner.
Notes about this recipe
Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?
At Eat Your Books we love great recipes – and the best come from chefs, authors and bloggers who have spent time developing and testing them.
We’ve helped you locate this recipe but for the full instructions you need to go to its original source.
If the recipe is available online - click the link “View complete recipe”– if not, you do need to own the cookbook or magazine.
Acquacotta - Traditional Tuscan Soup
Published: Mar 10, 2017 · Modified: Mar 12, 2021 · By Eddie D'Costa · About 3 minutes to read this article.
This traditional Tuscan peasant soup, Acquacotta, was eaten by farmers to sustain them during the long farming hours until dinner time. Literally translated is called “Cooked Water". Day old bread or even stale bread was a common accompaniment. Anything to soak up the simmered flavors.
Various herbs were also added, thyme and parsley being the most common but rosemary and oregano were also used. I personally like adding some type of protein other than the poached egg described in this recipe.
Sausages like chorizo or even chicken can add a lot to this soup. Somethings to keep in mind when preparing Acquacotta is to cook it slowly on low heat.
cooking this soup on high heat and constantly stirring will cause the beans to break down turning your soup into something that looks like re-fried beans. You don’t want that. Please cook slow and low.
Katherine's Take: Rustic dishes are just divine. Acquacotta is the sort of soup that you curl up with on the couch, on rainy afternoon, when it's just you and Netflix. You can have more than one serving and not feel an ounce of guilt. Go ahead, tear another piece of Ciabatta.
- ▢ 2 pounds, 3 ounces fresh ripe tomatoes or 1 pound 12 ounces (800 grams) canned whole, peeled tomatoes
- ▢ 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ▢ 2 to 3 (26 oz) yellow onions
- ▢ 1/2 celery stalk finely chopped
- ▢ 1/2 cup dry white wine
- ▢ 1 freshly chopped red chile pepper or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
- ▢ 4 cups store-bought or homemade vegetable stock or water
- ▢ Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ▢ 4 large eggs
- ▢ 4 slices day-old Tuscan bread (or any crusty white loaf of bread if your bread is fresh gently bake it in a low oven until dry but not browned)
- ▢ About 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I'll be adding this acquacotta to my list of easy comfort food. I loved the simplicity of the fresh-tasting soup. The sweet and tender onions play a major role in the overall flavor—the dish surprisingly benefits from the absence of garlic or herbs, allowing the delicate creamy eggs to come through. Paired with rustic bread, it's satisfying without being heavy.
My ciabatta bread was pretty fresh, so I put the slices in my toaster and set it at the lowest setting (the bread didn’t brown at all it just got a little dry, just like stale bread). The bottom of the yolks were more cooked than the top from the heat of the soup. Next time I’ll cover the pot so that the eggs will poach faster and more evenly.
One of the best ways to really get to know the cuisine of a region is to spend time making their most rustic recipes. These recipes, no matter the country, have stood the test of time, are usually made with simple, quality ingredients and are oh-so-comforting. This Tuscan recipe for a simple acquacotta-tomato ragout served over stale bread with poached eggs and a sprinkling of cheese - is just that. and more. After you make a recipe like this, you can understand the mind of being in an Italian kitchen: use what ingredients that you have on hand, waste nothing, and the idea that simplicity is best.
We really enjoyed this dish because of its simple flavors and rusticity. I was drawn to this recipe not only because I love anything tomato-y but also because I had all of the ingredients already either in my pantry or in the fridge. I had bought a nice Tuscan boule earlier in the week, which was the perfect bread to use here. I also had a 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes in the pantry and a box of organic vegetable stock, and my favorite cheese, pecorino Romano, is always in the fridge. Duck eggs work very well in this dish if you have them for their extra-large size.
I kept the pairings for this meal simple as well. A glass of Chianti and pan-seared fish fillets flavored with a touch of olive tapenade served over peppery greens. The only other thing I would recommend sprinkling on top besides the cheese would be some freshly chopped basil.
This acquacotta is definitely a winner in my book. Simple to prepare using ingredients that most cooks will have on hand and easy to alter or add to based on taste and preference. This has gained a place in my binder of go-to weeknight recipes. I have to add that my family gave it a unanimous thumbs up—and that includes a 14 and 15 year-old who are very tough critics.
I have seen other versions of this recipe, but what makes this one unique is that it relies on a large quantity of onions to flavor the stew. The onions break down slightly and offset the acid from the tomatoes. The poached eggs are the wow factor. When the yolks are broken and run into the stew, it creates a wonderfully rich, creamy experience.
The prep time was minimal. Using a mandoline made short work of slicing the onions. I utilized canned whole tomatoes that I had in the pantry, first pouring them into a bowl and then crushing them with my hands before adding them to the pot (this is a great way to break them up and it’s oh-so-satisfying).
When I make this recipe again, I will add another couple of eggs. I found that I had a lot of onion and tomato mixture left over after serving my family of four. One family member suggested adding some Italian sausage to the stew would be tasty. I finished the dish with the Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
I had never heard of acquacotta before but the simplicity attracted me to it. I love using soup as a way to make the house smell delicious for hours. As I started reaching the end of the recipe, I was worried the soup would be too simple—it was essentially just tomato and onion soup. But that poached egg completely changed it—the yolk made the mouthfeel creamy and satisfying.
To reheat leftovers, I put a serving of soup in a small pot on the stove, got it simmering, and poached another egg in it.
For me, this soup was still missing something. I would want to add a can of chickpeas or a scoop of lentils or rice to it for more substance and body.
During an unusually overcast rainy cold summer weekend, this was the perfect dish for a brunch with overnight guests. The simmering of the sauce gave a friend and I time to get in a quick morning walk before eating while the aroma of tomato and onions assured our spouses we would be eating something good.
I found the directions for the recipe to be spot on. It would be a recipe to make if you are blessed with an abundance of tomatoes, although I used canned tomatoes and dried chili flakes with great success. I didn't need to add additional water and found the wine reduced in the allotted time.
I have to agree with my husband on this one and give it 2 thumbs up. The acquacotta was sweet and warm, rich and filling without being heavy. We both agreed that we'd love this on a cold winter night. Mixing the soft yolk with the broth added to the richness of the broth and the bread added a little soft texture and chew.
I used fresh tomatoes and the skins slid off with no difficulty at all. I sliced the onions into thin rounds, but would also slice them crosswise next time to make the finished soup a little easier to spoon up. The rounds became long strings as they softened and cooked down.
One of my late mother's favorite breakfast was a tomato and egg sandwich. Thus, this acquacotta has been dubbed "breakfast soup" during the working trials in my kitchen. In the end, my mother decided that there was no harm in eating bacon when you're 90, and I decided that although this made a perfectly good soup, I too might have enjoyed a little bacon. But then I have a friend who tells me everything goes better with bacon. She also happens to be a vegetarian.
This was mildly flavored even with the addition of red pepper flakes. With the eggs added in and the pepper flakes left out, it would be good as both comfort food and a suitable meal for an invalid.
I used fresh tomatoes. The peeling method provided was the same as I learned from my grandmother years ago. I derived some comfort from learning that Lithuanian grandmothers and Italian grandmothers peel their tomatoes the same way.
I also sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top. The second time around I did add some bacon just because for some reason I had leftover bacon.
This acquacotta is a sturdy yet simple peasant food one-dish dinner (or lunch or breakfast, really), this can be made ahead up to a point, and in fact that's exactly what I would recommend. By making the sauce ahead of time the flavors develop nicely sitting overnight then reheating.
Since there were just 2 of us, we tried it both right away and the second day, which allowed me to play with the proportion of onions to tomatoes. Overall, I would either increase the tomatoes or reduce the onions (and one way to reduce the onions would be to cook them much longer, until they go golden brown but short of caramelization). The poaching of an egg in the soup broth is a favorite method—it does indeed produce perfect fluffy clouds of egg white and my local eggs with huge golden yolks were standouts.
I'll definitely make this again, and trust my instincts on the ratio of tomato to onion. This is a judgement call you'll need to make based on how ripe and flavorful the tomatoes are. If you're using fresh tomatoes, strain the tomato water from the seeds you remove, and make that part of your broth, grabbing every chance to enhance the flavor.
Use your largest wide-bottomed pan (a flat bottom enameled Dutch oven works better than a rounded corner one). If you use the full complement of onions, initially that is an alarming amount, but they do reduce by more than half in the time it takes to soften them, which you help by turning over the sliced onions and distributing the olive oil and the heat every so often. This was delicious, though a bit too oniony with the maximum amount of onions.
I think just adjusting the onions or cooking them longer (and in the biggest Dutch oven you have), make the difference for this to be a successful recipe. I am excessively fond of the addition of an egg to poach in chile, pozole or hearty soups, and want this to delight.
Acquacotta is a very filling comfort food and you probably have everything in your pantry. There's plenty of room to customize this dish and we really loved the bread in the bottom of the bowl. The wine added a very nice touch!
I couldn't get the poached egg to sit nicely on the bread. It fell to the side on each bowl. Next time, I'd make a bed of onions on top of each bread and nest the poached egg into that and then pour more soup over. This dish really needed the Parmesan cheese to round out the flavors.
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
#LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Acquacotta Maremmana – Italian Soup Recipe from Tuscany
- 5 eggs (one egg per serving)
- 6-8 small onions or 3-4 medium onions
- 400 g of ripe red tomatoes, I used a huge one from the farmers market
- slices of stale bread
- fresh pecorino cheese
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- baby spinach
- 4 medium carrots
- 2 parsley roots
- 1 medium celery root with stalk and leaves
- Prepare the vegetable broth:
- Slice the roots: carrots, parsley and celery.
- Melt the butter in a soup pot, add the sliced roots and fry them for 5 minutes in the butter.
- Cover the pot with plenty of water (about 3 liters), add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 40-60 minutes until the roots are done.
- Meanwhile, clean the onions and cut into thin slices.
- Chop the celery stalk
- Wash the celery leaves and chop them coarsely.
- Peel the tomatoes by placing them for a few minutes in boiling water
- Cut them into quarters, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into cubes.
- In a pan, put a tablespoon of olive oil and virgin olive oil to soften the onions on low heat.
- Add a bit of chili flakes and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the onion is caramelized.
- Add the chopped celery stalk, pour a liter of the hot vegetable stock and keep cooking for another half an hour until the broth slowly halves.
- Add the tomato pulp, celery leaves, (baby) spinach and coarsely chopped basil. Adjust salt and pepper.
- Once this time has elapsed (the result will be that of a kind of soup but still enough “soupy”) add the eggs, one at a time, directly into the pan making sure they do not break.
- Cook them for 3-4 minutes until they become poached eggs.
- Toast the stale bread slices, i used the oven for this.
- In each bowl put a slice of toast, slices of cheeseand pour over with a big spoon, acquacotta hot and one egg each.
Foraging for the Italian Table Talk – Acquacotta, foraged herb soup
My favourite country road stretches from my house into the nearby wood, shaded by four oak trees and speckled along the edges with flowers and herbs. Until a few years ago what attracted my attention were the closed buds of poppy, which I would pick up to guess the colour, and purple and yellow delicate field flowers, which I used to tie with a string to make a skimpy bouquet to be regally placed on the marble table in the living room.
Then my perspective changed, thanks largely to my grandmother, who began to show me edible wild herbs that grow unsuspected along the edge of the road. That is chicory, when it is young and tender is good in salads, otherwise you should cook it along with the wild Swiss chard you can forage in our field. That’s salad burnet tastes like a summer cucumber and it’s the queen of fresh green salads, that is wild lettuce instead. Forage dandelion before it blooms, it’s so good for your health, use poppy sprouts to make an unusual omelet…
These are names and definitions that encode an ancient knowledge. Man, an omnivorous animal, since the beginning faced the dilemma of choosing among an infinity range of food at his disposal. He gave names, he created traditions, recipes and shared knowledge that could lead his descendants to the recognition of what is good and edible, preventing them from what poisonous Nature could hide.
I already told you about one of my first experiences with foraging wild herbs, a morning spent with my grandmother. This would be a never ending theme, where tradition, culture, gastronomy and superstition have great influence. So, when every field in the countryside and each country road is blooming with dandelion, nettle and chicory, we decided to make these humble wild herbs queens and protagonists of this month’s Italian Table Talk.
Jasmine, just come back from an amazing experience in Sicily that made her fall in love with its amazing food, uses the wild fennel to make a traditional dish of pasta, pasta con le sarde a mare. Emiko, in Tuscany right now (yay!), found a good bunch of calamint on the walls around the Collegiata in Fucecchio and makes a spring dish, carciofi in umido. Valeria took a walk in the park close to her house in London and foraged nettle to make a pesto to go with scrambled eggs.
I asked my grandma to forage some herbs and she came back with a bag full of chicory and dandelion, just slightly too hard to be eaten raw but perfect once cooked. I made a generous portion of malfatti – perhaps even better than the classic ones made just with spinach – and I left a good half of the bag to finally make acquacotta with spring herbs.
Acquacotta is a typical Southern Tuscan soup, I already made a winter version with onions, tomatoes and celery. Though, the first time I ate acquacotta was in the late spring, I was spending a weekend in biodynamic farm in Maremma, in the province of Grosseto, and I was sitting with some friends at a long wooden table.
The owner of the farm, a sociable and talkative woman, brought to the table a huge heavy pot, wide and shallow, helped by her husband. She’d cooked the soup for hours on low flame with the foraged herbs of a dry late spring, then she’d broken the eggs of her chickens on top, letting them cook just enough time to have firm whites and runny yolks, thick as a syrup. She spooned some soup in every bowl, then she carefully lifted the eggs with a slotted spoon. To finish the dish a few slices of toasted bread previously rubbed with garlic.
Acquacotta, the Tuscan Stone Soup
During those old times the vagabonds were still crossing the country, living by their wits to get once in a while a hot meal to give them strength during the long and frozen moonless nights. In those days a witty vagabond was wandering near to the village, spending lonely hours at the edge of the forest and in the beech clearing. In his wanderings the Vagabond met a peasant, a poor widow who lived in poverty in her old hut near the river, and asked for some benevolence and charity, a soup and a warm place for the night.
The poor woman gave reluctantly a shelter to the wanderer, immediately pointing out that there was nothing to eat, since the pantry was empty. The Vagabond said he knew the secret of a magic recipe, the stone soup, so all he needed was just some water and a stone taken from the riverbed. Put a pot of water on the fire, Grandma, I will take care of the soup.
And so the Vagabond walked up and down along the bank of the river until he chose a beautiful gray stone with red veins. He rinsed the stone and brought it to the kitchen where a pot blackened by the years was already simmering over the fire. The Vagabond threw the stone into the pot and sat down to wait, under the unbelieving gaze of the old woman, who was knitting by the fireplace with an air of indifference.
In the silence broken only by the crackling of the fire, the Vagabond said, as to himself:Certainly, if we had a pinch of salt the soup would be even better… And the old woman, crawling to the cupboard, sought out a pinch of salt at the bottom of an old jar.
The Vagabond added: Certainly, if we had a potato, even old, the soup would be even better. The old woman went to the vegetable garden behind the house with a torch and returned with an old and wrinkled potato and a cabbage leaf, burned by the winter frost.
Not satisfied, the Vagabond , stirring the stone soup, said to the old woman: and now, if only we had an old ham bone, the soup would be really good! The old woman remembered the old bone with no meat in her pantry and gave it to the tramp, who added it to the stone soup that, to be honest, was already smelling good. And now, Grandma, the soup is ready! If only we had a morsel of stale bread, the…
I see, I see… interrupted the old woman. She rose again from her straw stool, rummaged in the bottom of the cupboard and found a morsel of dry bread, from which she cut two thin slices to put at the bottom of the two bowl.
The Vagabond poured a generous portion of soup in each bowl, and sat at the table with the old woman for a tasty and warm dinner. At the end, before going to sleep in the barn, he went to pot, picked up the magic stone, washed it, wrapped it in a rag and put it in the cupboard, then said to the old woman: Grandma, whenever you feel like a good stone soup, all you have to do is to simmer a pot of water over the stove and add the magic stone. Goodnight and thank you for your gracious hospitality!
Red Mountain Resort’s Inspired Cooking
This is well-known folk tale, sometimes the Vagabond is a beggar, sometimes a wily monk, sometimes a soldier… but the long and short of the story is always the same: with just a little you can really do something good, being it considered literally or as a metaphor, perfect of those days of big dreams.
The first time I heard this folk tale, it immediately reminded me of the acquacotta, literally thecooked water, a soup typical of the Maremma, a Tuscan area which was once very poor. It is another good example of peasant cooking along with many other recipes that have as main ingredients stale bread and some seasonal vegetables. It is a nomad dish that followed the people from the mountain Amiata who moved in winter to the plain of Maremma in search of work, bringing with them a few ingredients, among which there were always onions. The basic ingredients of acquacotta are indeed water, bread and onions.
I made a richer version, the kind of soup that at the time of the lean was reserved only for holidays or lucky days. In addition to bread, water and onions, there are the tomatoes, a can of peeled tomatoes that Mum made during the summer, the egg cooked in the soup itself and a good deal of grated pecorino cheese, which is just divine as it melts with the liquid egg yolk.
Home With the Lost Italian: Acquacotta a comforting vegetable soup
The new year has arrived, and our recent return to winter weather has given Tony a craving for a Tuscan soup specialty called acquacotta, which literally means “cooked water.”
Acquacotta (pronounced “aqua-coat-a”) is a comforting vegetable soup with an ancient peasant history, and is said to have originated among the shepherds and coal men of the Maremma area in coastal southwestern Tuscany. These workers were often away from home for long periods of time and traveled only with foods that could withstand the journey.
In those days, acquacotta consisted simply of water, bread, onions, tomato and olive oil, and any other vegetables or herbs that were on hand. It was an excellent way to utilize stale bread, as hearty chunks of old bread would soften and become edible in its function as the base of the soup.
There are variations of a legend surrounding this Italian soup about a poor traveler who arrived in a village with just a stone, but was clever enough to convince the reluctant villagers to contribute ingredients to enhance his amazing “stone soup.”
Somehow, knowing that there’s a legend attached to it makes this soup taste even better.
A broth-based soup, acquacotta is light and simple, yet surprisingly comforting. It’s also quite affordable, and good for you, which makes it an excellent post-holiday option for a light lunch or dinner.
Today acquacotta is widely popular throughout Italy, and over the years more ingredients have been added to the soup. While the preparations are as varied as the regions of Italy, the use of egg and bread are the unique signatures of this soup and are present in nearly every version.
This recipe is an excellent way to use up old bread, but fresh bread is also fine. We like to use a loaf of good, crusty bread like French or Italian loaves, which we slice along the bias (for bigger pieces) and then toast in a 400-degree oven for three to five minutes until a light golden brown. The slices of bread should be generous enough to fill the bottom of your serving bowl.
We’ve added celery and carrots (great flavor builders for any soup), as well as red bell pepper, tomatoes and spinach for additional flavor, color and nutrition. While water was the original base for this soup, we prefer to use a low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock instead, which further enhances the flavor.
You can be as creative as you like by adding cannellini or kidney beans, mushrooms, parsley, basil, or whatever vegetables and fresh herbs you have on hand but, keep in mind that acquacotta is, at its essence, a simple vegetable soup.
Some versions of acquacotta place a poached or fried egg on top of the soup, while others, like ours, use beaten eggs that get mixed in with the broth. We beat the eggs first, then mix them with grated Romano cheese. We place a slice of the stale or toasted bread in each bowl and pour a bit of the egg and cheese mixture over each slice. Then we ladle a hearty helping of the broth on top and serve.
According to Tony, making acquacotta is a fairly simple process. “All you have to do is sauté some vegetables, add the stock and you’re done. That’s it.” Sounds to me like the perfect antidote to a chilly winter day.
Acquacotta/Tuscan Stone Soup
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 pound peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 pound fresh spinach leaves
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cups water or chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
4 fresh eggs, beaten
1 cup Romano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Slices of stale or toasted Italian or French bread – slice on the bias for good size
Acquacotta (Italian bread soup) recipe - Recipes
Acquacotta – Tuscan Soup
An Italian soup full of vegetables enriched with eggs and served with a toasted bread inside the bowl. A thick and tasty soup perfect for cold weather.
- Olive Oil - 5 Tablespoon Tomatoes, deskinned & chopped - 2 Medium Snow Peas - 1 Cup(s) Celery Stalk, thinly sliced - 1 Spinach, chopped - 300 Grams Eggs - 4 Large Garlic - 1 Clove Onion, finely sliced - 2 Medium French Beans, cut into 1 inch pieces - 1/4 Cup(s) Carrot, finely sliced - 1 Medium Dried Red Chilli, crushed - 1 Veg Stock / Chicken Stock / Water - 6 1/2 Cup(s) White Bread Slices - 6 Salt and Pepper to taste Parmesan Cheese - 3/4 Cup(s)
In a large pan, heat oil and add the onions, peas, french beans, carrot, celery, chilli, salt & pepper to taste.
Stir well and sauté for 10 mins until tender and slightly brown.
Add the spinach and tomatoes. Simmer for 15 mins.
Add the stock and let it simmer on low heat for 45 mins.
In the meantime, add the eggs to a bowl with ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper and cheese. Beat well.
Toast the bread slices till golden brown. Rub both the sides of bread with the garlic. Place 1 slice in each soup bowl.