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Resplendent ribollita!

Resplendent ribollita!

Well, if you’re reading this you must be perseverant. It may or may not be true that not one of our intrepid internet heroes has posted any saucy soup-related content here in about a month. Chalk it up to various challenges including but not limited to: learning how to communicate with children, jury duty, PhD exams, a very special wedding that brought us all together in revelry, and surviving Chicago during its coldest week this winter.

Well, I’m here today to re-boot. With ribollita. First some questions and answers:

Q: So what is this soup? Any why is it worthy of the blog?

A: Well, it’s a hearty soup, a potage even, with origins in the kitchens of renaissance-era Tuscan peasants. The name vaguely means “reboiled”, indicating it’s made out of whatever you have left over from last night – specifically bread. Some say the peasants would use the bread leftover from the banquet tables of their lords. People say a lot of things. It’s on the blog because it’s actually really easy and fast and it is SOUPER delicious and the renaissance connection is apt.

Q: What do I need to make it?

A: There are several key traditional ingredients. It can be flexible with really whatever veg you have lying around the kitchen, but traditionally, it’s built around kale (Lacinato), white beans (cannellini), a soffrito, and stale country bread. Inspired by a fellow blogger’s soup from the other side of the world, I topped mine with a delicious soft-boiled egg. Not traditionally done, but so good and perfect in this dish.

It's not pricey, but it sure tastes like a million bucks.

It’s not pricey, but it sure tastes like a million bucks.

Q: Gee whiz, that sounds great – how do I make it?

A: I thought you’d never ask. As mentioned before it’s really straightforward and if you use canned beans and tomatoes (fresh on both counts will be lovely, but do add quite a bit of time…) it can be done in about 35 minutes, prep included! Love that!

Ribollita

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls of leftover/stale rustic bread, torn into small pieces (don’t use sandwich bread – it’ll break down too much)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale (about 100-200g)
  • 1 medium-large carrot
  • 1 onion (medium yellow works well)
  • 1 medium bunch parsley
  • 3-4 cups vegetable stock, depending how chunky you like the soup
  • ½ cup grated parmesan or grana padano
  • flaked red pepper to taste (start with a pinch)
This is how you want the stuff 'fore it gets all cooked up real nice.

This is how you want the stuff ‘fore it gets all cooked up real nice.

Instructions:

  1. Sautée the onion (chopped) with the garlic (minced) in about 2 tbsp oil for 2-3 mins until soft. Add the carrot, a bit of salt and pepper, and cook for about 4 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the beans (drained and rinsed), the tomatoes (with juices), the kale (thinly sliced in a chiffonade), the red pepper, and the veg stock and bring up to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 6-8 mins, until reduced slightly.
  3. Stir in the bread bits, half the cheese, and half the parsley (chopped fine). Simmer for 5-7 mins, until the soup has thickened. Correct the seasoning for salt/pepper
  4. Soft boil the eggs while the soup simmers. I use the Cook’s Illustrated method and it works perfectly every time. Basically, use a small pot, only cover the eggs halfway in boiling water, and put a lid on the pot for exactly 6 mins. Even the peeling isn’t so bad – but do be careful, since they’ll be delicate.
  5. Top the soup with the remaining cheese and parsley, the peeled eggs, and eat up!
It's good w/o the egg, too. But I like it better with ^_^

It’s good w/o the egg, too. But I like it better with ^_^

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