16/02/2013 04:21 GMT | Updated 17/04/2013 06:12 BST

Recipe for the Weekend: Tuscan Aquacotta

This classic Tuscan Acquacotta is a packed full of vegetables and enriched with poached egg. A great meal for lunch or dinner, the thick and tasty soup is ideal to warm-up the last weeks of February. Pair with a glass of Morellino di Scansano (which originates from the same region as the dish) and enjoy the weekend.


2 tbsp olive oil

2 sticks celery, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp thyme, leaves

50 g dried porcini mushrooms

150 g plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

500 ml water

1 tbsp chopped parsley

2 slices toasted bread

2 poached eggs


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the celery, carrots and onion with the garlic and thyme for 10-15 minutes until softened.

While the vegetables cook, soak the dried porcini in just enough water to cover them for 15 minutes, or until softened and swollen. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking water and roughly chop. Add to the softened vegetables along with the mushroom liquor and cook for 5 more minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes until they begin to break down and have lost some of their moisture, then pour in the water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the parsley and a little seasoning, and mix in the torn-up toasted bread, then carefully crack the eggs into the soup and poach slowly for 2-3 minutes until cooked.

Divide the soup between two bowls, making sure there's an egg in each.