Friday, January 28, 2011

Vegetarian Ribollita

Ribolitta is a soup from the Italian region of Tuscany, typically made with cabbage, beans, and day-old bread. The word comes from the Italian word ribollire, meaning to reboil. Ribollita is generally made one day in advance and then reboiled when ready to serve. The recipes vary widely, but every one includes some combination of beans, leafy greens, and stale bread.
I, however, cannot stomach the idea of eating bread that has been sitting in liquid overnight (or for any amount of time, really), getting soggier and soggier. I gag just thinking about it. So we made a minor adjustment to our ribollita; instead of adding the bread to the actual soup, we served them as a topping for the soup. If you like soggy bread, throw the croutons in the soup after the cabbage is tender. Whatever you do, be sure to save some for the next day, for as the word implies, it's even better reboiled.

Vegetarian Ribollita
Recipe adapted from the Food Network Kitchens
Pictures by Caroline

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced 
1 rib celery, sliced
1 zucchini, diced 
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 head Savoy cabbage,* coarsely chopped or shredded (about 7 1/2 cups)
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves (or 1/2 cup fresh)
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans
10 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups cubed sourdough bread (about 1/2 loaf) (optional)
1/2 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
  1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft and juicy, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Add the cabbage, tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and marjoram. Cook until cabbage is just tender, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the beans and vegetable broth, and adjust the heat to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to low Broil. Place the sourdough bread on a large cookie sheet and broil, about 5 minutes or just until bread is beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Season soup with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into warm bowls. Top with cheese and sourdough croutons. 
*Savoy cabbage is a green cabbage that grows as a head, like green and red cabbage. However, unlike the those varieties, it has a milder flavor, is more tender, and the leaves are ruffled, for lack of a better term. You can substitute green cabbage for Savoy. For a different taste, try using kale or even collard greens. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...