Zuppa cavolo nero

Top Tuscan soups to beat the chill

A list of traditional soups and recipes that you can find around the Region or.. try to make at home.

There isn’t a better way to beat the winter cold than a warm bowl of soup. In the words of Emiko Davies: “in Italian there are words that describe many different types of soup that we would otherwise have to use adjectives with”. Here is a list of traditional soups and recipes that you can find around the Region or.. try to make at home.

Cacciucco alla Viareggina
Cacciucco alla viareggina
Cacciucco alla viareggina

Cacciucco, perhaps comes from the Turkish world “kuciuck”, which means minute, small, and indicates precisely a dish in which ingredients are made into small pieces. Cacciucco is a popular seafood soup from the coast of Livorno and Viareggio, but each town has its own recipe. Find out here the recipe for Cacciucco alla Viareggina.

Tuscan chickpea and chards soup or “Chickpea cacciucco”
Tuscan chickpea and chards soup or “Chickpea cacciucco”
Tuscan chickpea and chards soup or “Chickpea cacciucco”

 A vegetable soup made with dried chickpeas and chard and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil. Find out here the recipe.

Spelt soup
Spelt soup
Spelt soup

Farro, or spelt, is a truly ancient grain. It was one of the favorite dishes of the Romans who used it to feed their legions. It isn’t widely eaten today except in Garfagnana (Lucca province) where it is still made into fantastic soups. Straight from Lucca, here is the famous Tuscan spelt soup recipe.

Bordatino
Bordatino
Bordatino - Credit: The Black Fig

It’s a very ancient dish, which used to be prepared on the ships – hence the name: bordatino is zuppa di bordo (on boat soup). It’s made with corn flour, beans and seasonal vegetables. The Black Fig shows us how to prepare a great bordatino.

Carcerato
Carcerato soup
Carcerato soup

Carcerato is a traditional soup from Pistoia. It’s made with giblets, stale bread and water and enriched with spices, cheese and garlic. Check out this article about the origins of the soup and the video-recipe.

Ribollita
Ribollita
Ribollita

It’s maybe the most famous Tuscan soup. It’s made with stale unsalted Tuscan bread and a variety of vegetables including the local Tuscan kale. Straight from Artimino, find out here an authentic ribollita recipe.

Acquacotta
Acquacotta
Acquacotta

Acquacotta means cooked water, and its secret probably lies in the simplicity of the recipe and its natural, local ingredients: celery, basil, tomatoes, eggs…. the ingredients change according to the seasons, so there’s no such thing as a standard recipe for this dish. Find out here Alessia’s recipe.

Black cabbage "farinata"
Black cabbage farinata
Black cabbage farinata

This dish comes from the uplands and uses yellow or maize flour. This recipe can only be prepared in winter, when fresh black cabbage (cavolo nero) grows. Check here Rudolf Rainer farinata recipe.

Pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup - Credit: Italian I

Since it has a very sweet flavor for Tuscan tastes, here you’ll always find it combined with strong flavored ingredients such as onion or herbs as rosemary. Let’s travel to the heart of the Valdarno with the Italian Eye team and Chef Simone Del Puglia for a hearty pumpkin soup photo recipe. 

Minestrone
- Credit: Pici e Castagne

A stock-based soup with chunks of vegetables, beans and/or pasta. Serena Angelini (pici e castagne) loves minestrone with Tuscan Kale and cannellini beans. Here is her family recipe.

Cover image credit: Serena Angelini

&
Food and Wine