Sunday, January 8, 2012

Healthy Option 2: Ribollita

I'm back from the farmers market. There are some really beautiful greens growing here in the Bay Area right now. I kinda wish I'd bought some of the little young fennel too, but oh well next week and another post. I came home with a 3 1/2 pound cabbage. It looked amazing, but oh my god this thing is a monster. It is bigger than my own head (before adjusting for inflation). I found this interesting looking traditional Italian soup recipe here called Ribollita. The recipe looked like it would make good use of what I had on hand and my farmers market hoard.

Ribollita literally means "reboiled" in Italian. After eating this soup for a second dinner I can attest that it is even better when reboiled. You can easily make this soup vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock or water for the chicken stock. The soup is traditionally a peasant food that makes use of the left over soup, often minestrone.

(Recipe for Zuppa Ribollita follows)

  • 1 cup soaked cannelini beans
  • 4 cups chicken stock (use water to make this soup vegetarian)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 small leek, thinly sliced in ⅛ - ¼ inch half moons
  • 3 medium size carrots, sliced in ¼ inch rounds
  • 1 ½ celery stalk, ¼ inch dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 - 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 bunch tuscan kale, roughly chopped
  • ½ pound white cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups basic tomato sauce or 1 14 ounce can chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • slices of toasted or grilled Italian bread or garlic croutons
Soak the beans for 8 hours in 6 cups water. Drain and rinse the beans. In a 3 - 4 quart sauce pan add the chicken stock and beans. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the beans for about 40 minutes.

In a large soup pot over medium heat add the olive oil, onion, leek, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Saute until the onions become translucent and softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add the cabbage and kale and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat slightly and add the tomato sauce. Stir and bring to a boil. Remove the bay leaves. Add the beans and cooking liquid and one cup of water if the soup looks too thick. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the flavors are well integrated.

Brush bread with olive oil and grill or broil for a few minutes on each side. Rub bread with a clove of garlic kind of like the bread were sand paper.

Serve over grilled bread or top with croutons.

Serves 4 - 6


No comments:

Post a Comment