Tuscan summer vegetable soup

We have in the past proposed the classic recipe of Ribollita, the tuscan vegetable soup popular throughout Tuscany.
This is the summer version, where all ingredients are fresh with the full flavors of the seasonal herbs, plus the delicate aroma of the tuscan sheep cheese. Try and make it, the round full taste of tuscan summer will come alive with every spoon you have.

Ingredients for 4 people:

300 gr fresh borlotti beans
150 gr potatoes
200 gr zucchini
200 gr carrots
400 gr black kale
1 large onion
1 garlic clove
2 celery stalks
250 gr fresh tomatoes
250 gr. tuscan bread slices
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ liter of vetable broth
aged tuscan pecorino cheese
thyme
parsley
basil
salt and pepper

In a saucepan, saute onion, celery and carrot in olive oil.

Add diced potatoes, garlic, coarsely chopped black kale, parsley, basil, fresh beans, salt and pepper, and saute gently a little more.

Add then the chopped tomatoes previously peeled, and vegetable broth.

Cook on medium heat for about 1 hour and until most of the liquid is reduced.

Toast the tuscan bread slices..

Put them in a large baking pan, sprinkle with olive oil, pepper and grated pecorino cheese.

Cover them completely with the vegetable stew, sprinkle on top a generous amount of grated pecorino cheese and cook in the oven under broiler until a good crust is formed.

Let it sit out of the oven for at least half hour. Best served lukewarm.

A modern organic farm in Tuscany , old time tastes and flavors

We are in a scenic hardly inhabited area of central Tuscany, close to the old town of Peccioli, the “capital of cereals” and the motto is – let’s cultivate the diversity –

Here old grains variety like Etruscan wheat, different types of Farro (spelt), Millet, Oats, Barley, Fenugreek are cultivated, milled, transformed and packed respecting the strict organic specification, this is why all the products from this farm are “top quality” and their flavor and taste easily witness it.

These people focused on selecting varieties of cereals to grow, suitable for use in organic farming in different climatic and soil conditions and at the same time recover the nutritional qualities of the old varieties.

In the 70’s when many where fleeing the lands to find work in the cities, the founder of this farm decided to buy many hectares (over 300 right now) in this little paradise of the Pisan hills.

In these fields can now be found grains that are ideal for making bread, produced here with natural yeast, and grains perfect for different kinds of pasta, also made here.

pastabread

 

 

 

 

 

The flour comes from a stone mill, not an old fashioned one though, here all is very modern and technological with great attention to hygiene and control of the product’s purity.

The farm has actually 2 sections, one has fields and stone mill, the other with more fields and the bread and pasta factory with a shop and almost all the cereals production is locally transformed in breads, pasta and baked products.

There is a dedicated guided tour of this organic farm available and organized by Arianna & Friends , the local tuscan tour operator, and the opportunity to taste the products offered is not to be missed.

 

Ceramics and Pottery : an ancient tradition of tuscan craftsmanship …

In Tuscany, the ceramic is part of an ancient tradition of craftsmanship. Do you think that the findings of the Etruscan tombs are often present finds of pottery, almost always decorated. Think of terracotta as artistic use, this aspect is certainly not a prerogative of Tuscany, but when we talk about ceramic or terracotta artthe thought can not go to the Florentine family that from 1460, the first decades of the ‘500 has artistically enriched many churches in Tuscany, and not with works in ceramics: the Della Robbia.
Without going to such a high level, Tuscany is still full of potters. Craftsmen in their back, or any other means, work the land by hand, this is a classical batch process begins to become ceramic. They can come out of the hands of a potter infinity of objects: cups, vases, plates, lamps and many other home accessories. When these ceramics have special shapes or have been finely decorated it comes to artistic ceramics.
One of the most renowned town for its  traditional ceramics is Montelupo Fiorentino which is very closed to us…

For more information about art & crafts classes in Montelupo:

www.ariannandfiends.com