Ribollita (a really ugly picture of a really tasty soup)

November 22, 2009 · 12 comments

in beans and legumes,italian,soups and stews

There are few things I like better to make on Sundays than soups and stews. OK, actually, there really isn’t anything I’d rather make, though roasted meats are right up there.  I could easily eat soup every single day of my life and never get sick of it.  The bonus is it’s  usually not too terrible for you (assuming  you aren’t making a very creamy soup) and is so incredibly easy to make.  The dutch oven/stockpot does all the work for you.  The combinations are endless, too.

I’d remembered a recipe for ribollita from Ina that I had wanted to make, but when I saw Giada’s version, I decided to go with it, instead. I was definitely not disappointed. This soup was so hearty and flavorful.  And any soup that calls for putting half a roll of bread into your bowl is a  hit in my book, especially because that means I can eat the other half of the roll, on the side. :)

I used bacon instead of pancetta in this recipe because I had half a package sitting in my fridge.  To compensate for the fattier bacon (and because I think the amount of oil is a little excessive anyway), I reduced the amount of olive oil to a tablespoon.  Combined with the fat the bacon had rendered, it was the perfect amount.  I also increased the amount of broth in this and next time, I would definitely reduce the amount of spinach.  I have that reflected in the recipe below.  I love spinach but 1 lb. was just too much for this amount of broth and it definitely was not all necessary.  It made the soup a little too thick and well, too spinach-y.

This was a really tasty, really comforting soup that I will absolutely make again.  The leftovers were just as fabulous even without the bread.

Ribollita

Makes 4 large or 6 smaller servings
Adapted from
Giada De Laurentiis

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 lb. bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, divided – 2 minced and 1 whole
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 parmesan rind
1 (heaping) Tbsp. herbs de Provence
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
salt and pepper
4-6 ciabatta (or other) rolls, halved lengthwise
olive oil, for drizzling onto bread
parmesan, for serving

Heat a stockpot or dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil and once hot, the bacon. Cook until the bacon has rendered most of its fat and become slightly crispy.  Reduce the heat to medium, and then stir in the onion, carrot, 2 cloves of minced garlic & saute until tender.

Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute before adding the diced tomatoes and chicken broth.  Add the bay leaf, parmesan rind, herbs de Provence, cannellini beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the spinach and simmer for about 10 more minutes, reseasoning to taste if necessary.

Preheat the broiler, and drizzle a little olive oil over each halved roll.  Stick under the broiler until toasted. Immediately rub each piece of bread with the whole garlic clove.

Place half a roll in the bottom of each bowl, and then ladle the soup over it. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve immediately.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter G November 22, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Nothing ugly with that Elly! Looks hearty and healthy! I always enjoy a good soup!

Reply

Ivy November 23, 2009 at 12:49 am

A soup with bacon, parmesan and all those other delicious ingredients makes me want soup and it’s only 7 a.m.

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nina November 23, 2009 at 12:51 am

I bet that soups has all the vitamins and nutrients you need for a whole month!!! Gosh, it looks fragrant and so heartwarming!!!!

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Bellini Valli November 23, 2009 at 7:11 am

Tasty and comforting are definitely something we want to hear these days.

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Maria November 23, 2009 at 9:26 am

I too love soups like this and can eat them on a daily basis … so many great ingredients in one bowl!

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Joan Nova November 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I actually think that’s a good picture…sharp and vibrant colors. Living in So FL, my thoughts have turned to hearty soups yet but I did make a gazpacho over the weekend. :)

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Ben November 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I wouldn’t call it ugly. I think it’s beautiful and I bet it smelled and tasted great.

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Juliana November 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm

The picture does not look as bad as you stated :-) And sure must taste great with all the ingredients in it! Yummie!

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Jen November 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm

I made this today-so good! My husband doesn’t like soup so more for me!

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Stefany November 26, 2009 at 8:57 am

Um, not ugly at all and it has my favorite – herbs de Provence! This one’s getting a star :-)

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chayacomfycook November 26, 2009 at 8:47 pm

The soup looks great. What you think is ugly is lots of vegetables swimming around and calling out to be eaten. I would eat that soup if it was in front of me.

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Peter December 7, 2009 at 10:13 am

Elly, I like the look of this soup…what’choo talkin’ about Willis? Rustic soups like these eat like a meal.

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