Bread, Potato, and Arugula Soup
Zuppa di Patate, Rucola e Pane

serves: 8 servings

The ideal arugula to use for this soup is the tougher and wilder kind; the fragile hydroponic is not suitable for this dish.

¾ pound medium-size russet potatoes, peeled, washed, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
7 cups water
1 pound arugula, preferably the hearty type
½ cup day-old Italian bread, without crusts, diced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated


In a deep, heavy 4- to 5-quart heavy pot combine potatoes and 7 cups water. Salt the water lightly and bring it to a boil. Adjust the level of heat to medium-high and cook the potatoes, covered, until they are tender, but still hold their shape, about 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut off the thick stems from the arugula. Wash the arugula in cool water to remove all sand and grit, changing the water if necessary. Drain the arugula well and cut it into 2-inch lengths.

Stir the arugula and bread into the pot. Continue boiling 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and peperoncino and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.

Scrape the contents of the skillet into the pot. Stir well. Season the soup with salt to taste. Serve in warm bowls, sprinkled with grated cheese.