Acquacotta is a simple and tasty soup that is a staple of the lower Maremma area of Tuscany, encompassing Maremma Grossetana and the Tuscia area in the Viterbo province. Acquacotto is part of other Tuscan soups like pancotto and ribollita.
Depending on the region, the dish has several variations. The Viterbo version includes garlic, onion, chicory, potatoes, olive oil, water, seasonal herbs, egg, or, alternatively, cod, and bread.
Conversely, the most common version of Tuscan Acquacotta involves the use of onion, celery, tomato, olive oil, water, basil, grated pecorino, egg, and toasted stale bread.
Every August, in the province of Grosseto, numerous Acquacotta festivals are held in villages on the slopes of Mount Amiata.
The Maremma is a coastal region difficult to define in terms of borders. This large area between southern Tuscany and northern Lazio is a world of its own. Maremma is truly an island in the heart of Italy. Throughout history, it has always been a poor and harsh land. Her inhabitants have a rich history and a unique identity that they have proudly defended for centuries.
The origins of Acquacotta date back to a common mid-day meal made by the butteri. These herders would ride through the land, transporting their flock from pasture to pasture. During their long travels, they would enjoy this ancient form of acquacotta, gathering the ingredients directly from the countryside.
The butteri carried Tuscan bread, olive oil, and salt in a catana, a leather haversack. The remaining ingredients would be collected during their travels. Colloquially, this soup was known as minestra di sassi, literally ‘soup of stones’, because, depending on the season, the herdsmen would add anything they could find to it.