It’s been a nasty winter in Boston already, and it’s only January 19th. We’ve had snow, rain, hail, sub-zero windchills, and maybe a little bit of sun. We have a good two months left and sadly, we don’t get snow days anymore. Hearty soups are a really good way to get through when you’re stuck in the middle of a long, New England winter. Ribollita is a great Tuscan soup that will warm your whole body and it’s really good for you! It’s generally served with bread IN the soup, but this recipe has it on the side.
Week: 3 of 52
Cookbook: Molto Italiano, Mario Batali
This vegetable packed soup starts out by softening onions, leeks, carrots, potatoes, celery and garlic in olive oil. Once softened, you add chopped kale and cabbage and let that sit until wilted.
By the way, the recipe called for an 8-qt pan. I have a 6 and a 12 and played it safe so I didn’t have overflow. That pan also makes it a bit difficult to photograph.
So, once the greens have reduced a bit, season with salt & pepper, add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and stir to combine. Some recipes use chopped tomatoes, but I think the paste works better as this isn’t supposed to a tomato-heavy soup. The paste makes this more of a tomato broth, which is how I remember it from Florence. Let the vegetable mixture hang out for a couple minutes and then add cooked cannellini beans.
The beans were supposed to be cooked from dry beans, but I only decided to make the Ribollita on Monday morning, so I had to used canned, because I didn’t have enough time to soak dry beans. Does it count as cheating if you own up to it? Yes, they’ll be firmer if cooked from dry beans, but in a pinch it didn’t hurt the final product.
Once the beans are in the pot, add enough water to cover everything plus an inch or two. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 45 minutes.
As the soup finishes, toast slices of country-style Italian bread and then rub with a half of a garlic clove. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with parmigiano reggiano, serve with your crusty, garlic-rubbed bread, and enjoy!
- White cabbage
- Tomato paste
- Cannellini beans
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- Crusty Italian bread
- Big soup pot
- Cold weather