By the end of winter let’s treat ourselves to one more soup. The bordatino is a tasty winter soup of the ancient Tuscan tradition, prepared with poor ingredients and seasoned with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Creamy without cream.

Its particular name derives from the place where the dish was prepared and that is “on board” of the ships that transported buckwheat in the eighteenth century

 The origins of this Tuscan thick soup are divided between Livorno and Pisa. Probably in the port of Livorno the preparation involved the use of fish broth with which to cook wheat flour.

 Subsequently, the bordatino recipe was modified by replacing the fish broth with the cooking water of the beans and buckwheat with corn flour.

Then vegetables and black cabbage were also added, common ingredients in the countryside near Pisa and that is why today’s recipe is often called “bordatino alla pisana”. Currently a difference between the two dishes is that in Pisa white beans are used and in Livorno reds.

Recipe Bordatino from Pisa

Ingredients : ( for 4 people )

 white  Cannelini beans  200 gr =1 cup        water 3 l.=12 cups

  onion 1                                                             black cabbage 250 gr =8 oz.

 2 tablespoons of tomato paste                     2 garlic

 1 medium onion                                              1 carrot

1 celery rib                                                         1 sprig of parsley

 corn flour  150 gr.=1 ¼ cup                            salt and pepper

Soak the beans in warm water with a handful of salt for a night.

In a saucepan pour a tablespoon of oil and put the onion cut in half. After two minutes add the beans and after 2 minutes add 3 liters of water and a handful of salt. Let them cook until soft (about 1 hour and a half)

Meanwhile, wash the black cabbage and remove the toughest ribs

Clean the onion, celery and carrot, add the parsley and make a nice mince.

In a pan, sauté the chopped vegetables. Add the black cabbage cut into thin strips, add a ladle of cooking water from the beans and cook for twenty minutes

Mash half the beans with a vegetable mill.

After twenty minutes, add the mashed beans and tomato paste to the black cabbage, mix well and finally add the whole beans and as much bean cooking water as you need to cover everything.

The soup must be very soft. Cook for another half hour or so.

Finally add the cornmeal to the beans and black cabbage. Stir to avoid lumps until cooked. Add if necessary more water from the cooking of the beans. Season with salt and a little pepper

Plate up and serve immediately .Outside it’s cold ,this will warm you  !