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Dish of the Week: Zuppa Toscana

Written by Food

Zuppa Toscana is a popular Italian soup that is a favourite amongst many families in Italy (including my own) that serves to nourish the body, warm the heart and satisfy the taste buds.

Nothing reminds me of my childhood more than my Grandad’s own Zuppa Toscana. This delicious soup is a humble concoction of various beans, greens, pulses, bread and any other veggies you’ve got left over from your culinary conquests the night before.

From its origins in a sleepy village amidst the rolling Tuscan hills all the way to your dinner plate in your halls of residence, this family recipe makes an extremely easy, affordable and healthy alternative to your typical Saturday night take-away or microwave meal. This hearty dish is ideal for students living on a tight schedule (and even tighter budget) as it requires just a few simple steps and relatively cheap ingredients to make. Not to mention it is one hundred percent vegan for all the health conscious and ethical food fanatics out there!

So why not try out this super soup this week? Your body (and bank balance) will certainly thank you for it!

Serves: 1 (with plenty left over that can be refrigerated/frozen and reheated when desired)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 mins

Equipment:

  • 1 saucepan
  • Wooden spoon (for stirring)
  • Knife (for dicing and slicing)
  • Chopping board
  • Tin opener

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Kale
  • ½ small Zucchini
  • ½ tin of Cannellini beans
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  •  Tomato pulp (or Vegetable stock)
  • A splash of water
  • A splash of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salted Tuscan bread (or Ciabatta)
  • + anything else you’ve got leftover and would like to add

Method:

  1. Chop up potato, celery and zucchini into evenly sized chunks.
  2. Finely dice kale, garlic and onion.
  3. Add a splash of oil into the saucepan, tilt pan to make sure the whole surface is covered and heat it up the on hob.
  4. Add the celery, onion and salt, allow to soften for a few minutes whilst stirring.
  5. Add the tomato pulp, kale, zucchini, potato and cannellini beans then stir.
  6. Season with the chili powder and let it cook for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.
  7. Add just enough water to cover all the ingredients, stir, then allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200º/400F.
  9. Then, prepare your ciabatta or Tuscan bread by lightly toasting it in the oven before adding a tiny dash of olive oil onto the bread.
  10. Finally, serve the soup on top of the toasted bread, allow it to sit and cool down for a few minutes before tucking in! (I would certainly recommend letting the soup to sit on the bread for a few minutes before eating as it allows all the flavours of the vegetables to absorb into the bread which is utterly mouth-watering!)

Last modified: 3rd March 2020

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