“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ribollita (re-boiled soup)

Fighting of the flu? Can't seem to get warm? Need a big hug? Then make this body warming, nutritious soup. Perfect to fight away your winter blues.
This soup is a famous Tuscan dish dating back to the 15th century  using a combination of inexpensive vegetables. Although each family will have a secret recipe the key ingredients always include left over stale bread, cannellini beans and cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage).
Traditionally this dish would start by being prepared on a Friday, ready for Sunday. Thanks to canned cannellini beans, this soup can be prepared in a day (although feel welcome to soak your own beans).  That said, it does take a some tender loving time to make.  Just keeping the pot on the stove for a few hours warms the house.
It is a soup with heart and it obtains a stew like consistency, without the meat. Top with a drizzling of olive oil and shaved parmesan cheese.  It's a hug in a bowl!
What you need:
two medium size carrots
two celery stalks
a medium size bunch of cavolo nero (kale or Tuscan cabbage)
half a savoy cabbage
one leek
one red onion
three medium size potatoes
two medium size tomatoes
three garlic gloves
400g cannelini beans
two sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
400g approximately of stale dense bread (I used two small rolls)
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and cracked black pepper
How to make:
1: Finely dice the onion, leek and smash the garlic.  Add to a large heavy based saucepan.  Add the olive oil and salt generously.  Cook over a low heat, sweat down the ingredients for about 10 minuets until they become translucent.
2: Add the beans, stir and heat through.
3: Add the roughly cubed carrots, celery, and potatoes.  Stir through for about 5 minutes.
4: Add the water and herbs and cook with lid on for about one hour on a low heat, reducing the water content.
5: Add the chopped tomatoes and sliced cabbages, place lid on an cook for a further 30 minutes.  Taste the broth and add salt and cracked pepper to taste.
6: Tear pieces of bread and add to the soup, stir through and let it cook for a further 30 minutes (if there is no liquid left, add a little more water, however it is not meant to be a liquid style soup).
7: Top with a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese.

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