Have you ever tasted Italian soups? These famous soups are known for using up kitchen ingredients that might overwise goes to waste. These uncomplicated Italian restaurant recipes all create a delightful and delicious bowl of comfort that you can prepare any time of year from things you likely already have in your fridge, pantry, or garden.
Here are the seven best traditional Italian soup recipes:
1. Liguria soup
A variation of minestrone, liguria also contains chopped vegetables and beans but is bolstered by the addition Genovese pesto. Pesto, which is a rich combination of basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and Parmigiana Reggiano, is one of the gastronomic symbols of Genoa and the wider region of Liguria. It is rich, fragrant, and adds a whole other dimension to this classic Italian soup.
2. Straccitella soup
Native to Lazio, which is the region of Italy which contains the capital of Rome, Straccitella is a simple egg-drop soup. The beaten eggs are mixed into a comforting mixture of bone broth and stirred to create a delicate, shredded texture. Following traditional recipes, this tasty concoction also contains grated Parmigiana, nutmeg, and the zest of a lemon, which grow with such abundance in the area this soup is from.
3. Pappa al Pomodoro soup
Pappa al Pomodoro is a great example of one of the ways Italian cuisine turns old bread into delicious soup. This traditional Italian soup recipe is a summer classic that used to be a simple way for home cooks to use up leftovers, but was not something that would ever be served to guests.
It has taken on more refined variations since then and will be different depending on where it’s being made. One of the big distinguish factors is whether the bread should be added during or after cooking. You’ll find people with strong feelings one way or another, but both versions create a heart and satisfying soup.
4. Fagioli e castagne soup
Hailing from the mountain region of central Italy, this hearty soup pairs beans and chestnuts. These were both important ingredients in the region when meat was generally an unaffordable luxury for most Italians and therefore you will see many variations of how it is prepared.
Often, the two main ingredients are boiled separately before being combined in a clay pot along with olive oil, onion, and herbs. You might also see mushrooms, potatoes, or even bacon in this warming winter classic.
5. Zuppa imperial soup
Featured on Christmas menus across the country, this rich yet simple soup usually consists of chicken broth and small dumplings made of egg, cheese, semolina and butter. The baked cubes are added to the broth after baking and the soup is always served very hot. You will sometimes find the flavours of nutmeg or black pepper rounding out this lovely Italian soup recipe.
6. Ribollita soup
A staple of Tuscan cuisine, ribollita is another shining example of how Italian cuisine uses soups to give a second life to leftovers. It is a tasty combination of stale bread and whatever vegetables are on hand, it usually contains beans for added heartiness.
The name means “boiled twice,” because in traditional methods the beans and vegetables are cooked the night before and left to rest overnight. This creamy soup sometimes contains gravy, tomato paste, of fresh herbs.
7. Minestra d’orzo soup
This rich soup is most often found in northern Italy and is a satisfying combination of pearl barley, meat stock, mirepoix, and smoked meat. A frequent and favourite accompaniment are savoury fritters filled with spinach and ricotta cheese.