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Tuscan acquacotta soup

Acquacotta Toscana (Tuscan Peasant Soup)

From: Chef Walter Potenza, Potenza Ristorante, Cranston, RI. Yield: 4 servings.

½ cup extra virgin olive oil (Tuscan preferred)
6” stick of celery, minced
1 small carrot, minced
2 small onions, minced
½ small crumbled hot pepper (or more, to taste)
2 lb. beet or spinach greens, stemmed, washed, coarsely chopped
1 lb. peeled, chopped ripe tomatoes
1 lb. seasonal vegetables (such as peas, beans, bell peppers, artichoke hearts)
1½ qt. boiling water
5 medium eggs, beaten in a bowl
½ cup grated Pecorino Toscano or Parmigiano Reggiano (Pecorino Romano may be too strong for this application)
½ tsp. kosher salt (reduce amount if cheese is sharp)
as needed, thinly sliced Italian bread, toasted

Set a heavy-bottomed pot on the fire. When it’s hot, add oil and onion/carrot/celery mixture. Season mixture with salt and chili pepper. When onions have turned translucent, add the greens. Cover and cook over low heat until greens have wilted. Add tomatoes and other vegetables. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the boiling water. Check seasoning and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and mix in the cheese, adding salt if necessary. Line the bottoms of soup bowls with thinly sliced toasted bread and spoon the beaten egg mixture over the bread. Bring soup to the table, stir well, and ladle it into bowls, making sure the hot soup flows over the egg, cooking it.

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