Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ribollita con Crostini Di Pane

To be more specific, Ribollita con Crostini di "Broa".  Good for both cold weather and cold viruses.  I haven't made this soup in years, but the clipped recipe has been sitting in my favorite recipe binder all this time.  It was fabulous years ago and I think will become a rival for the house favorite, Manhatten style clam chowder.  I didn't think anything could displace that from my daughter's list of favorites.  Well, she raved about this soup.  "Mommy, this looks really good... Mommy this tastes so amazing... Mommy!  You have to put this in my container for lunch tomorrow!   Can we have this for dinner every night?  This is even better than clam chowder."  Daddy finished up his bowl and proceeded to lift it up to slurp the last bit of broth out.  Little sis took the longest, but once she got into it, she drained her bowl too.  Then proceeded to announce that she had tried it, and now she liked it.  Gee, thank you Nick Jr. 

At any rate it seems to be a home run dinner for this family.  I used the Portuguese "Corn" bread I made for the BBB challenge yesterday to make garlic crostini and it was out of this world good.  Now I need to replenish my freezer supplies of chicken broth.  That's one of three big immune boosters in this fabulous savory soup: the chicken broth, the garlic and the onions.  Great for fighting off what ails you.  Fortunately we are all healthy at the moment.  Yay!  ☺  While I do recommend homemade chicken broth, (so easy in the crockpot and almost always tastes better than store bought), I do like the Pacific brand to fall back on when I'm out.  It's okay for my daughter's allergies, so that's great.  I have yet to find a beef broth that is okay, so this weekend, the bones will come out of the freezer for that project.  I actually used napa cabbage in the soup.  Savoy holds together better and might be prettier, but my youngest very carefully picked out every last piece of cabbage and ate it with relish.  Then demolished the rest too.  Great way to get your daily veggies in too.  Fortunately, I have to worry more about that for myself than my children.  Imagine that!  So try this soup out.  It is so worth the ingredients you might not be used to.  Oh yes, ribollita meaning "reboiled", this is technically meant to be made one day and eaten the next.  It tastes better that way, supposedly.  However, as evidenced by the shiny clean bowls tonight, it is entirely edible after a long, slow simmer.  (I finished it a couple hours before dinner time and let it sit, covered, giving it a blast of heat just before serving.)  It is also wonderfully filling.  Enjoy!

Update: To make this in the instant pot, just saute the fennel, celery, onion and carrot until slightly softened using the saute function, about 5 minutes.  Add all the remaining ingredients except zucchini and bread and cook for 10 minutes using the soup or manual mode.  Add the zucchini, check seasoning and adjust, and simmer for a few minutes until zucchini is tender.  Remove bay leaf and serve soup with crusty bread.  Try this one!

Bertolli Ribollita con Crostini di Pane
Serves 8

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil - I used garlic olive oil
¼ cup each chopped, trimmed fennel, celery, onions, (leeks if you have them on hand!) and carrots
1 garlic clove, finely chopped - I used three small cloves
¼ tsp dried thyme - I used 1 generous tsp fresh lemon thyme
6 cups chicken broth (Make this vegan by using veggie broth and one or two additions*)
1 can (28 oz.) italian plum tomatoes, cut up
2 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes
1 ½ cups rinsed and drained canned cannelini beans
1 cup finely shredded Savoy cabbage or Swiss chard - Napa works fine but is not as hearty
1 cup diced, trimmed zucchini
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley and basil
½ tsp lemon pepper
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices (one per bowl) ½ thick diagonally sliced Italian bread
*to make a perfect, flavorful vegan version, use vegetable broth, 3-4 dried porcini mushrooms, minced, and optionally a splash or two of vegan Worcestershire sauce.  This soup passes muster for my vegan in-laws and my teen daughter's vegan friend. 

1. Combine the olive oil, fennel, celery, onion, carrots, garlic and thyme in a large heavy saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are very soft, about 15 minutes.  Do not brown.

2. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, bay leaf, beans, and cabbage or Swiss chard.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.  Add the zucchini, parsley and basil.  Cover and cook 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Remove from heat.  Refrigerate for 24 hours.  Just before serving, heat to boiling.  Place a piece of bread in each of 8 soup plates.  Drizzle with a little olive oil.  Ladle soup over the bread and allow to soak up the soup.

(I sliced the bread and broiled it on both sides until light golden brown, then rubbed all the pieces with raw garlic and a scraping of butter.  Olive oil would have been more authentic, but hey, I love butter.  These crispy toasts were wonderful dipped into the soup.  We prefer that to soggy bread.)


  1. That looks and sounds amazing! I'm going to try this for sure!

  2. That really sounds like a great soup, especially with the corn bread.

  3. Wow, this soup was amazing! I was worried it might taste licoricy from the fennel but it all comes together really nicely. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.