Ribollita

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Soups and stews- what is better for a long lunch or slow cook dinner come the dark days of winter?  Warm and comforting and filled with seasonal ingredients.  This is one of my many favorites.

I recently had some bloodwork done to see which foods were causing me discomfort and intestinal issues.  The list of the bigger offenders wasn't terribly long but included dairy, wheat and eggs, to name a few.  Thankfully, aside from the bread in this recipe, I can eat it all.  I will be sharing more recipes in the future that are hearty and delicious that feature more vegetables and whole foods and omit things that many of us need to avoid.

Adapted slightly from the brilliantly inspirational book "An Everlasting Meal" (I think we need to start a book club with this book!)

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 3-4 carrots diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes- I used 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup parsley and rosemary chopped- I find both fresh and dried work but if using dry, use less
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes or 3 whole tomatoes
  • 1 bunch leafy greens like collard greens, swiss chard or kale
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups any white beans
  • 2 cups homemade broth- I use chicken
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 2 cups stale bread

 

Heat 1/4 inch olive oil in a large pot.  Cook the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in the oil.   Salt them as soon as you add them.  Once they begin to soften add the herbs and chile flakes.  Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon as they soften and cook over medium heat for a few minutes.  
Add the chopped greens and the water.  Cover the pot and cook over low heat until the greens wilt.  Add the beans, broth and parmesan rind.  Bring to a simmer, then add the bread and 1/4 cup olive oil.  Cover the pot, turn the heat as low as you can and cook for half an hour, checking occasionally to make sure it isn't burning and adding a little broth or water if it seems too dry.  The bread must cook and absorb everything it can, and then melt into the soup.  
Stir in another 1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil, taste, remove the cheese rind and serve warm with fresh grated parmesan and black pepper.

Kim Taylor