With roots in the peasant cooking of the region, this vegetable soup is thickened with bread instead of
meat. It was cheaper and more readily available for hundreds of years in the desperately poor Italian
countryside. In Tuscany, the dish is considered a special treat in the autumn, when the taste of the harvest vegetables is at its most vibrant and the soup explodes with an intense savoriness despite the absence of meat. Often eaten as a first course instead of pasta in the trattorie of Florence, this is one hearty stew that shows off the immense, and often untapped power of great produce.