Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Ribollita Soup

Ribollita is a famous Tuscan soup, although I must admit I'd never heard of it before. There are many variations but the main ingredients usually include leftover bread, cannellini beans and inexpensive vegetables such as carrots, root veggies, potatoes and cabbage. The name Ribollita literally means "reboiled".  I say "usually" includes leftover bread because I skipped that.  I was afraid that our tasty gluten free bread may disintegrate into the broth.  It would be wonderful with stale French or Sourdough bread added if you aren't eating gluten free.  We had our gluten free cornbread on the side instead, perfect for dipping.  Add in whatever yummy fall veggies you have on hand and enjoy!

Recipe: (serves 4)
2 slices uncured bacon, diced
3-5 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cubed
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves only, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch organic Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves finely shredded
2 cups organic fresh spinach leaves, chopped
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
1 (14oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4-5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated plus more for garnish

delicious organic Swiss chard

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat add the bacon and brown for 2 minutes.  Add the cubed potatoes and cook another 2-3 minutes until potatoes are browned and bacon is rendered.
2. Add the carrots, garlic, celery, bay leaf, rosemary, salt and pepper and saute together, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes until just tender.  Add the chard and spinach and sprinkle of nutmeg.
3. Stir in the beans (*and 2 slices of stale bread, cubed, if using) and add the chicken broth and water.  Add more or less broth for the consistency you prefer.  Bring to a gentle boil then reduce to a simmer and cover for 5-7 minutes.  Uncover and stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, remove from heat and serve in soup bowls with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan on top.

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