Ribollita

Shopping while hungry is a dangerous act, but putting together the shopping list for the week while hungry allows for a bit of reasoned thought.  Needing some warming vegetarian ideas, I headed over to the Cookbooks 101 which is always a dependable source of healthy homey foods.  She had just posted the Ribollita recipe and, figuring that was some kind of sign from the blogging gods and goddesses, the ingredients were quickly added to the shopping list.  Plus, I’m a sucker for brothy soups with kale.  It adds great texture and flavor, plus you look so healthy when buying that big bunch of dark leafy greens at the store.  Call it grocery store vanity.

The recipe here is straight from the Cookbooks 101 blog, and omitting the olives was my only alteration.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Ingredients:

3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

4 celery stalks, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 medium carrols, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 bunch kale, cut into long strips

2 cans white white beans

8 cups water

1/2 pound crustless loaf of bread

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

zest of one lemon

well chopped oily black olives (optional)

Directions:

1.  In a dutch oven over medium heat, combine the olive oil, celery, garlic, carrot, and red onion.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, avoiding browning.

2.  Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes thicken up a bit.

3.  Stir in 8 cups water, kale, and 3 cups of the beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the greens are tender, about 15 minutes.

4.  Puree the remaining beans with a bit of water until smooth.  Tear the bread into bite-sized chunks.

5.  Stir the bean puree and bread into the soup.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bread breaks down and the soup thickens, 20 to 30 minutes.

6.  Stir in the salt and red pepper flakes.  Adjust seasonings as needed.  Serve with olives.

Notes:

  • This really does make a lot of soup!
  • For the bread, I just repurposed a few hoagie rolls that have been hanging out in the fridge for a few days.
  • This soup comes together quite easily.  Chop the first veggies while the pot warms, the prepare the next ingredients while those veggies cook, and so on.  A relaxing cooking experience to be sure.
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