01 April 2009


We got a late winter (well technically early spring) storm this past weekend, sleet and ice and some snow - lotsa sleet and ice, little snow. Kinda annoying, when we've had a few blissful days in the sunny 70s, but hey. I think I can celebrate nature's last homage to winter weather for awhile. Plus it means one last pot of ribollita.

This is one of my favorite soups to make when it's cold out. In fact, check out those pictures - that is not bad lighting, that is steam whitening out my shots. I love love love ribollita in the wintertime - an Italian dish with a charming history, ribollita originated as a soup where all the leftovers went, including the cheese rind and stale bread. It's a great way to use leftover veggies, and at the rate Hubs and I make pasta dishes there are always extra Parmesan rinds saved up in the freezer. And stale bread? Yes, that is usually not a problem to find at our house as well (I do my best to make bread crumbs out of leftover bread when I can, but that doesn't always happen).

It's hot and comforting, and nice and thick thanks to the toasted bready bottom of your bowl. So rich, it's hard to believe you didn't spend all day in the kitchen whipping this up. That is indeed one of the best things about this dish! Takes 45 minutes to an hour, and most of that is simmer time.


1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling on bread
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic: 1 minced and 1 whole
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 lb. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (15-oz.) can cannelloni beans, drained
1 Tbsp. herbs de Provence
3 c. chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 or 2 (3-in.) pieces Parmesan rind
4 to 6 ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise or 1 loaf, sliced
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, pancetta, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is golden brown and the pancetta is crisp, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and Parmesan rinds. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F.

Drizzle the ciabatta halves with olive oil. Toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub the top of the toasts with the whole garlic clove. Place the toasts in the serving bowls and ladle the soup over the toasts. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.


Elyse said...

EEE! I have all of these ingredients! I'm so going to have to make this ribollita. It sounds super delicious, and I just adore the addition of the parm rind. How perfect for a wintry day (or in my case, a spring day). Here's hoping your warm soup warms up the air a bit! Stay warm!

Coco said...

I am definitely making this one!! We'll be dealing with winter weather for awhile here yet :(

Snooky doodle said...

really interesting!