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Celery Soup (Zuppa Di Accia)

1/4 c Extra-virgin olive oil
1 sm Onion, finely chopped
4 c Sliced celery (1/4-inch slices)
1/4 c Chopped celery tops
5 c Hot meat or chicken broth
6 Italian toasts (1/2-inch slices Italian bread)
3 Hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
3 oz Sopressata or other dried sausage, chopped
4 oz Cacciocavallo or mild provolone cheese, chopped
Freshly grated pecorino cheese
Lovage leaves or chopped celery tops (Optional)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the onion, celery and celery tops; cook over low heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the hot broth and salt and bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

Prepare the Italian toasts. Lightly brown the 6 slices of Italian bread in a 400 F oven until golden on both sides. Brush with olive oil on one side.

Place the Italian toasts in the bottom of 6 soup bowls. Divide the eggs, sausage, and cacciocavallo cheese evenly among the 6 servings and place on top of the bread. Bring the soup to a boil and ladle while hot into the bowls. Sprinkle with the grated pecorino cheese and lovage leaves (or chopped celery tops).

Serves 6.

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