Sunday, January 27, 2008


Originally uploaded by snarkmeister
Ribollita, for those of you unaware, is a lovely Tuscan veggie soup thickened with stale bread. Delicious and very healthy! The best part about ribollita is that it can be made with a wide variety of veggies; pretty much anything you've got wasting away in your crisper drawer can go in. Leafy greens like kale are a traditional addition to the soup, but they aren't required in the recipe below. The high veggie content means this will be my "get back on the horse" submission to Sweetnicks' ARF/5-a-day roundup this week.

Ribollita (adapted from this Rachael Ray recipe)
3 Tbsp EVOO, divided
1 diced medium onion
2 diced carrots
2 diced celery stalks
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
1 Tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
1 can (15 oz) tomatoes, diced or small diced or crushed; whatever you've got in the cupboard
2 cans small white beans (smaller than cannellini beans)
6 c chicken stock (use vegetable stock for a vegetarian soup)
3 c stale bread, without the crust, torn into small pieces (Italian or sourdough bread is best for this)
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
salt & pepper

Heat 2 Tbsp EVOO over medium heat in a large, heavy pot. Take a small handful of the diced onion, chop it very finely, and set it aside for later. Add the rest of the diced onion to the pot, along with the carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf and rosemary. Season the veggies with salt & pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes, letting the veggies soften. Once the veggies are soft but not browned, add the tomatoes and beans (I drained one can of beans but put all the liquid from the second can in). Add the chicken stock, and raise the heat to medium-high. When it boils, add the torn bread. Simmer the soup (adjusting the heat as necessary) for 10 minutes or so, until the bread breaks down completely and thickens the soup. The soup can be as thick or thin as you like; add more bread for a thicker soup or more stock to thin it out. Just before serving, stir in the parsley and check your seasonings, adding more salt or pepper as desired.

To serve, put a couple of ladles of soup in a wide bowl, drizzle with the reserved EVOO, sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan cheese and the reserved finely chopped onion.

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