Acqua cotta dei logaioli, a spring time soup
A recipe that not everyone knows, traditional, easy and refreshing. It brings to the table the tastes of Montalcino and is well matched with the Doc Orcia and Chianti wines.
The name comes from the small farms on the Montalcino hill, called “loghi” or “logaioli”. These were small holdings that permitted the survival of one family tank also to the presence of a source of water which enabled the inhabitants to irrigate their vegetable patch. The logaioli (inhabitants of the loghi) walked to the village with a basket full of celery, zucchini, parsley, carrots and eggs… and sole them under the old Town hall in the lodges. Up until 40 year ago they were there every day. Today they sell at the Friday market, in the “filiera corta” short supply chain stalls.
Acqua cotta is a bread soup, typical on farmhouse tables in Tuscany on a working day. A dish which up until 30 years ago nobody would have offered guests. Soups made with vegetables and bread were the basics of the country menu, housewives had learnt how to vary them from day to day, according to the season and according to the family necessities where a different dish had to be served every day.
The recipe for Acqua cotta dei logaioli was taught to me by Giovanna and Alfredo Capitani, two Montalcino thoroughbreds. It is tasty, healthy, not well known but very traditional and especially easy to prepare. I am sure that you will be able to perfectly carry out the instructions, but if you want you can come and taste it at the Osteria della Fattoria del Colle (30 km from Montalcino ) where the chef Antonio serves it very often.
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE
6 ripe tomatoes, 1 kg of round zucchini, 1,5 lt. beef broth, 2 hg of toasted Tuscan bread, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilly, salt, basil leaves
Lightly fry the garlic and the chilly in a pan. Peel the tomatoes and scald them in boiling water, cut them into pieces and pour into the pan. Add salt and simmer for a while on a low flame. Add the out side of the zucchini cut roughly. As soon as the zucchini are coke add the broth and keep the pan on a low flame for about 15-20 minutes. Cut the bread into slices and toast it, put it on the bottom of the serving dish and pour the soup over it, alternating soup and bread. Serve hot or warm, adding a little extra virgin olive oil and a few basil leaves.
We advise to match with young red wines from the same areas such as Rosso di Montalcino, Doc Orcia or Chianti Superiore.
Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini