Monday, October 06, 2008

Beans & Greens - Ribollita

Dear foodies,

I've been whining about the weather here a little too much in the last two posts and I think I got heard :) Yesterday was beautiful! It wasn't exactly warm, but good enough for me to walk around with a light jacket. So armed with my camera I went around taking photos of the vibrant blue skies spotted by the fluffy clouds. Everything just seemed so much more beautiful and I bet ppl who saw me on the road thought I must be crazy trying to photograph fallen leaves and pine cones and playing hide n seek with a squirrel :))

This is when he saw me, and then he kept circling the tree a little faster than I could and when he had gotten me pretty confused as to where he was, he ran down to the foot of the tree, dug up a tiny hole, buried his nut a.k.a Ice Age., and scurried off into the parking lot behind :))

Onto the recipe, I was in the mood for having soup a few weeknights back and saw that I had a can of cannelleni beans and some arugula in the fridge to use up. Last year on one of my 'kill-time' visits to Tjmaxx I picked up two cookbooks dedicated to soups (it was winter :D), the photos were soo tempting that I could not resist them. So I picked up one of the them and started flipping through the pages until I found one using cannellini beans for which surprisingly, I had most of the ingredients, even the ciabatta bread! The soup is called Ribollita, and I learnt from a search of the name that, it comes from the Tuscan region of Italy. Its uses fresh vegetables and bread, country style cooking all the way. The word actually means 'reboiled' and is another perfect example of how cooks have always tried to use up leftovers. This soup actually starts off as a Minestrone, gets eaten with bread the next day and is then reboiled the third day to end up as Ribollita! Somebody totally miscalculated and made a whole lot more soup than they needed! hehe

  • 1 can - Cannellini beans
  • 3 nos - medium sized ripe Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup - carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup - Onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup - green peppers/capsicum, chopped
  • 1 tsp - Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp - Thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp - Vegetable base + 2 1/2 cups water or veggie stock
  • couple of handfuls of Greens - I used arugula.
    Recommended options: Tuscan kale or savoy cabbage, increase the cook time to 5 mins if using these
  • 2-3 thick slices of day old Ciabatta bread, torn into smaller pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 11/2 Tbsp - Extra virgin olive oil + for serving
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions, green peppers and carrots for 5-6 mins stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste and continue to cook for 3-5 more mins until the veggies caramelize lightly.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 min so they soften. Now add the drained & washed cannellini beans, water, veggie base and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 more mins until the flavors come together.
  3. A few minutes before turning off the heat, add the washed greens, cover and cook. I switched the heat off as soon as I added the arugula as they are tender enough to get cooked in the residual heat.
  4. If serving immediately, stir in the bread pieces next and add more water if needed to have a thick consistency. Check for seasonings and serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Since I was having it for lunch the next day, I skipped the bread step to avoid a really thick soup.
Notes: The recipe starts off with the trinity - onion, carrots and celery. I did not have the last one and used a little chopped green peppers instead, I also skipped the garnish of parsley, not a huge fan of it.

The soup was really yummy, the thyme was the star. If you notice they aren't any extra spices used, the ingredients used shine through and give the soup all its flavor. I liked the arugula in this too, since I did not overcook them and also left them whole with no chopping, they had some texture left and remained a bright green. I had the soup with some toasted ciabatta bread with olive oil for lunch the next two days, aboslutely loved it! This is one hearty and satisfying soup, and its surely going to give me company many more times this winter.

19 thoughts:

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

aaaahhh, talk about cold weather... its almost like winter, here in Chicago as well!!! The soup looks yummy!!!! love the first pic

Sonia said...

Wow...ur soup look yummy and colorful!Nice pics along with soup recipe. Ahhh...I miss winter days. And Hey Priya, I still have been awaiting for ur "precious" mail in my inbox;) :)
Take care.

anudivya said...

Don't even get me started on the weather now... it is terrible here.

Red Chillies said...

Beautiful recipe. The weather is getting cooler here in our neck of the woods and this looks just wonderful especially with that bread!

Anitha said...

Hey Priya,
Such a yummy looking soup. The first picture is awesome. Excellent presentation.


Mrs.Kannan said...

Is it global warming or global's almost feel like a winter here in NJ..And a warm soup to go with a's yummy

FewMinute Wonders said...

Hi Priya,

I love to make soup all the time.Yours look wonderful, will give it a try sometime soon.

Anita said...

A gorgeous looking soup! Now tell me - which Indian rajmah might I use? Good old red kidney beans - if all fails!

Anonymous said...

hi priya ur soup is really tempting. nice picture

Sangeeth said...

yummy recipe and the weather here is kinda cool! cool as in cold!

Priyanka said...

Thats one comforting soup. Perfect for the winters. Your pics are always so beautiful....

Unknown said...

Getting colder here too..Hearty soup!

Priya said...

Ramya, yaa and I hate it already! totally unfair :(

Sonu You miss winter days! We must swap places right now :)

Anu, sigh!

RC, yup, this soup is really comforting, many more soups coming up this winter.

Anitha, thank you soo much, for you to compliment me about presentation is really something :)

Mrs.Kannan, seriously, something is terribly wrong :( I hope its just a few days of bad weather not really winter setting in.

Srimathi, I've been trying to make more of them now a days. They are filling, healthy and extremely convenient.

Priya said...

Anita, may be any white beans or even pinto beans probably, kidney beans might be too heavy and starchy for this, making it more like rajma curry.

Anon, thank you :)

Sangeeth, yes, cold, frost warnings and sub zero evenings :( so wrap your hands around a warm bowl of soup like I did :)

Priyanka, thank you soo much :) Do try this soup.

Divya, yup, its everywhere :(,

Bhawana said...

this looks delicious and mouthwatering Priya. I want to try that but so many new items are involved in it. Bookmarked it. will try for sure. I loved it

bee said...

how did you know the squirrel was a he? did you check? :D

Mangala Bhat said...

wow! priya ..i just love this soup ..will make it today and let u know Thanks for posting :)wonnderful blog .lovely pics :)

Sudha said...

Priya - just tried this soup for dinner last night. Was very hearty and comforting given the weather(cloudy, gloomy and rainy!). Thanks for a great recipe!

kavi said...

I tried this recipe last week... it was great. goin to do today also.

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