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Soup of the prisoner, a poor but rich dish!

Inmate's soup

The Pistoia prisoner’s soup is made with poor ingredients, including veal scraps, but for the palate it is rich in flavors and taste.

The prisoner’s soup is a quick first course to make at home. Its simplicity lies in the mixture of “poor” ingredients, which constitute it and are easily available. This is a typical product of Pistoia , linked to a long tradition. The name itself informs that the original recipe has to do with the prison of this Italian country. The building was surrounded by slaughterhouses, from which it was easy to get cheap scraps of meat to prepare for the inmates. In fact, poor dishes were reserved for them, such as this easy soup.

Even today, it is made with calf giblets , considered waste, which are flavored and enhanced with other ingredients. The preparation also includes onion, carrot, celery, grated cheese and stale bread. Over the years, this Tuscan recipe has been increasingly enriched, so much so that it has become a typical dish of the area.

Inmate's soup
Inmate’s soup

Preparing the recipe for the prisoner’s soup

  1. The procedure starts from the previous day . Wash the veal entrails and cook them in a pot full of water (unsalted) for 10 minutes. Drain and let them cool, then put them in a bowl full of clean water and let them soak in the fridge .
  2. The next day, pour the olive oil into a pan. Add the carrot, celery and onion, cut into pieces.
  3. Drain the parts of meat and add them to the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Add the water you kept them in the previous day and cook the giblet soup over very low heat for 3 hours .
  5. After this time, remove the meat and set it aside.
  6. In another pan, place slices of stale bread on the bottom. Cover with the broth, after filtering it, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cook for 40 minutes , stirring occasionally, until the bread flakes and makes everything more full-bodied.
  8. When cooked, distribute on plates and add the veal entrails. Finally, sprinkle the surface with grated cheese.

A clarification must be made regarding how the prisoner’s soup is prepared. Its consistency can vary depending on the amount of ingredients you use or the cooking times. You can choose whether to make it more liquid or denser, also according to your taste.


This first course is one of the most popular Italian regional recipes. The best advice is to consume it hot, accompanied by a good red wine. Conservation, in fact, is not recommended .

Are you a lover of this quick and easy first course? Here is the delicious ricotta soup recipe!

Riproduzione riservata © - WT

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