Legendary Dishes | Bazzoffia (soup of love – bean and vegetable soup with bread and cheese)

ITALY

This summer vegetable soup from central Italy is celebrated in the Sezze recipe book where they describe it as the ‘soup of love’. Ideally it is made with all fresh produce from the field and garden. The addition of bread, eggs and cheese turn it into a meal.

The authors of Ti Racconto una Ricetta di Sezze (I’ll Tell You a Recipe of Sezze) describe the dish. ‘Bazzoffia is a spring soup typical of Sezze and Priverno, two villages of the Lepini Mountains that compete for the authorship of this dish. The bazzoffia, whose name recalls a certain heterogeneity of ingredients, is made with seasonal vegetables from the April season during which are the last artichokes, the first beans and new peas, as well as lettuce and chard. Today actually with availability all year round of ingredients it is possible to make it every day. The secret of the success of bazzoffia is the long but sweet cooking which leaves legumes and vegetables intact.’

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 300 g fresh peas
  • 300 g fresh broad beans
  • 250 g chard, chopped coarsely
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 artichoke hearts, cut into strips
  • 170 g stale bread, sliced in four
  • 120 g pecorino cheese, grated
  • 100 g onion, chopped small
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

Pour the oil into a large pot over a gentle heat, add the onion, peas and broad beans, stir to embrace the oil, add the artichokes and chard. Pour in the water and add salt. Cook covered over a low heat for 90 minutes.

When all the vegetables are cooked, poach the eggs in the broth. Place a slice of bread in each bowl, put a poached egg on top, pour the soup and sprinkle with cheese. Season.