Thursday, May 10, 2012


Yesterday turned out to be the perfect day for ribollita --- another cold snap after a beautiful spring day.  Ribollita is perfect for lazy days when you just can't make it out to the store, as it allows you to use up the odds and ends you have around the kitchen.  The recipe I used is below, but you must keep in mind that the nature of this soup is improvisation, so feel free to substitute any variety of leafy greens and toss in any other vegetables that you might need to use up.  This recipe will make quite a large pot (I used an 8 quart stock pot for it), but like all good soups it will taste better on subsequent days and also tastes particularly good cold or room temperature.


4 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 Italian sausage links (optional)
1 tsp dried thyme
4 plum tomatoes from a can
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 cup of dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
half a head of napa cabbage, chopped (or kale, or chard, etc.)
salt and pepper
several pieces of stale, crusty bread

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot and saute the carrots, celery, and onion until translucent, about 10 minutes.  Remove the sausage from its casings (if using), and add to the pan, breaking it up with your fingers and then a wooden spoon as it cooks.  When the sausage has browned, add the thyme and the tomatoes and break up a bit with the spoon.  

Now add some water to the pot, I think I probably started with about 6 cups but use as much as you think is necessary (keeping in mind that the beans will soak up water and the cabbage will release water as they cook).  Then add the potato, beans, and cabbage, cover and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for about two hours, until the beans are cooked through.  Add salt to taste (but make sure to add enough!  Probably about 2 tbsp of sea salt for a pot this big).

At this point, you can either set it aside, if you're making it ahead of time, as it will taste better the next day.  Or, if you're like us and can't wait, go ahead and toast several slices of the old bread, cut a garlic clove in half, and rub the bread with the garlic really well.  Place the toast in the bottom of a bowl and ladle the soup on top.  Garnish with freshly ground pepper and enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment