Zuppa Toscana (Tuscany Soup)

By Lucia Ferrara

If you’re looking for something a little bit different this holiday season to have with your family, Zuppa Toscana (Tuscany Soup) may be what you’re looking for. It is a very hearty soup, made rich with cream or half and half. It’s a soup we eat in the fall and winter. Served with sandwiches or a frittata, it is very filling.

If you want to get a little bit fancy and really step up the flavor, use pancetta instead of the bacon. Pancetta is salt-cured pork belly, but unlike bacon, it is not smoked.

Zuppa Toscana
1.25 lbs Italian sausage, crumbled
4-5 slices of bacon, cubed
1 cup cream or half-and-half
4-5 stalks of celery including the leaves
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 large onion, diced
6-8 potatoes (I like russet), sliced
2-3 cups of fresh spinach
2, 23 oz cartons of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste.

Top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves up to 8 people.

Cooking as a spiritual practice

You know, thinking back on my memories of all the homemade soups and pasta dishes and things like that my mom made, Zuppa Toscana is one I cherish because, it was something that we always had in the wintertime or the fall when it was really cold outside. During this Thanksgiving season, I want you — I want all of us — to reflect on what really matters in our lives. What are some things that really matter? Who are some people who really matter in our lives? What issues really matter in our lives?

A scripture that helps us in this reflection is Psalm 34:8, which says “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

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For me, this passage speaks of how God invites all of us to trust in him. For me in my life, God has always supplied all my needs, but I think this year, especially, he has blessed me, and I find that blessing in so many different ways, in so many different people.

So what I want to leave you with this week is knowing that God will supply all of our needs if we honor and seek him first. In all things, we should speak of life and truth and love. We should seek peace and justice, and then humbly serve our God.

For this Thanksgiving season, I want to say that I’m very thankful for my friends, my family, the family that I work with here at the Precious Blood Renewal Center, my extended family, and all those friends around the world that I haven’t even met yet. We can come together, to enjoy some Zuppa Toscana and a little red wine.

And until next time, God bless!

All the articles and videos in the Cooking and Spirituality Series can be found here.

[Lucia Ferrara, the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions using the form below or by sending an email to info@pbrenewalcenter.org.]


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