First courses
Tuscan chickpea and chards soup or "Chickpea cacciucco"

Not far from Florence is a hilly green country area dominated by olive groves, orchards, woods and vegetable gardens. Of Etruscan origins, Bagno a Ripoli was a very important trade crossroads at the height of Roman power.

During the Middle Ages, it was colonized by powerful Florentine families and organized in parish-church districts. Today, Bagno a Ripoli is the perfect destination for countryside lovers who want to visit Florence and escape from the crowds. Wandering through its narrow country streets, you’ll reach panoramic views, historical villas and sacred places holding valuable artworks and representations of faith.

In recent years, Bagno a Ripoli farmers decided to invest in high quality agriculture. They produce good food through sustainable methods and reinstate typical crops often replaced by more profitable products.

If you’re visiting Bagno a Ripoli, you should stop at some of its many farmhouses to sample and purchase local produce, such as IGP Toscano extra virgin olive oil, wine, honey, fruits and vegetables. But there’s more.

You'll find great gourmet specialties, such as unique breads and pasta made from ancient grain flours or book a lunch and sample the best of the local rural cuisine, like the chickpea cacciucco. Chickpea cacciucco is a vegetable soup made with dried chickpeas and chards and seasoned with local extra virgin olive oil.

  • 250 g dried chickpeas
  • 200 g chard
  • 400 g ripe or peeled tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 4 slices of homemade bread
  • Pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water with a teaspoon of bicarbonate
  • Fry the sliced onion and the whole garlic in a pan with 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • As soon as the onion begins to soften, add the soaked chickpeas and the chard, which should already be washed and cut into strips
  • After a few minutes, add the ripe tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cover with water or broth
  • Cook in a covered pot until the chickpeas are soft
  • Toast the bread slices, place them in individual bowls and pour the chickpea soup
  • Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some grated cheese
    Pair your dish with a glass of Chianti For more information about Bagno a Ripoli (places, farms, itineraries and products check)