November 18, 2008

Tuscan Ribolita with Tomato Garlic Bread

Everybody pull out your slow cookers yet again, I have a heck of a soup for you to try. It's hearty and warm and will give your house the most mouth watering smell. Forget lilac, I want a ribolita candle. It's also very quick to throw together and is fairly healthy considering it is totally meat-free and has lots of veggies and beans (you know how the song goes...).

I made this the other day when the hubby and L had another one of their little jam sessions, and  we all thought it was completely soul satisfying and perfectly flavored. The hubby even said that it was better than the soup he gets for lunch most days at Hale and Hearty. Considering these are on just about every corner of NYC, my culinary ego is feeling a little puffed today. :) This is the first recipe I've made from this cookbook, so I will definitely be going back for more.

I normally serve a soup up with some kind of sandwich or salad, as I usually don't find soups satisfying enough on their own. Every meal needs something to literally bite into, not just sip, in my opinion. But the bread cubes in the ribolita really do the trick and make it hearty enough in its own right. Nevertheless, I made up some toasted bread and rubbed it with tomato and garlic to serve alongside. For something so simple, it sure tasted good and the tomatoey bread was a great compliment to the soup.

Tuscan Ribolita

1/4 cup olive oil, plus some for drizzling
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
6 cups canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale or savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper
3 cups day-old crusty bread
Parmesan cheese shavings (optional)
  • Warm olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add broth to the pan and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat once the liquid begins to boil.
  • Place beans, kale, carrots, celery, and thyme in slow cooker.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Add in the broth.
  • Cook in slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  • Stir bread into soup about 10 minutes before serving.
  • Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  • Optionally, each serving can be drizzled with olive oil and parmesan shavings.

Tomato Garlic Bread

Slices of crusty bread (I used ciabatta)
Garlic cloves, peeled
Tomatoes, halved
Coarse Salt
  • Lay the slices of bread over a grill pan for a few minutes on each side until they are toasted and have nice markings.
  • Rub each piece of toast with a garlic clove then the cut side of the tomato half.
  • Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and follow with a sprinkle of salt.


Aimée said...

We need a soup like this around here. We've all got colds. Do you think I could use regular cabbage?
Thanks for this!!

Maria said...

The soup and bread look amazing! I am going to make this soup for sure. I am on a soup kick and this one looks fabulous!!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Aimée - Sorry to hear that you are all under the weather. I think regular cabbage would be fine. I've also seen a recipe that uses spinach for another option.

Hi Maria - I hope you will, it was a real hit around here!

RecipeGirl said...

Mmmmmm! Super comforting. Always need a couple of those slow cooker recipes (the ones that are worth making) tucked away for busy days.

Anonymous said...

That soup looks absolutely delicious!! I'm definetly going to try it soon, seeing as we're all in the mood for comforting foods right now becasue of all the snow we got!!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi RecipeGirl - A slow cooker really is a busy gal's best friend!

Hi Shay - I hear ya. It's supposed to snow here this morning. Snow in NYC = black mush everywhere for the next week. Yuk!

Grace said...

slow cookers are a busy lady's best friend. well, along with chocolate. and coffee. and microwaves. lovely soup. :)

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Grace - Ditto the coffee and chocolate. :)

Tim said...

Thanks for the recipe, this is just my kind of soup!