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.
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