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Zuppa Americana a la Italiana


Gloria was my Italian teacher when I worked at Esprit, just 2 million years ago. We've stayed friends, even as my obsession for Italy waned and my compulsion for things Mexican and New World exploded. She's been experimenting with our beans and recently sent me the following email and her enthusiasm is infectious!


I just made the BEST winter soup ever and I want to share the recipe with you.

It all starts with LEFTOVERS. It takes just a few minutes of reheating and...ecco, pronto in tavola!

In a couple of tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil,

  • sautee' for 3/4 minutes: a couple of carrots, one red onion, a couple of celery stalks, all coarsely chopped, and 1/2 inch of anchovy paste (optional).
  • Add about 2 cups of Ayocote Negro beans, previously cooked (I use a pressure cooker) and "finished" in olive oil, garlic, a bit of tomato paste (thinned with the cooking liquor) and rosemary.
  • Thin with good quality, canned, non fat chicken broth to desired soupy consistency.
  • Add about one cup of cooked (oven-roasted) winter squash meat such as Zucca Barucca or Buttercup (any dense, sweet, winter squash will do).
  • Bring to a gentle boil. If you haven't used the anchovy paste, check for seasoning.
  • Sprinkle with chopped, fresh Italian parsley and you are ready to serve it.
  • Serve with Parmesan Crisps or Parmesan flakes sprinkled on top.

The soup is creamy and satisfying, with the big beans and chunks of veggie providing a pleasant texture. Fantastic with a slice of my rustic bread.
The Indians were well aware of it: beans and squash are truly delicious.

Much love e tanti baci.

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