Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Italian Cookery Course: La Ribollita

This recipe is adapted from a recipe I was given at my Italian cookery course by Francis Adou.

This is a 'proper' winter soup - full of lovely winter vegetables! Ribollita means 're-cooked' in Italy, from looking on a few sites on the internet, it seems that the traditional method of cooking is as follows:

  • Make basic soup (as per recipe below) - this is basically a typical minestrone soup.
  • The next day, spoon the soup into a baking dish and layer with slices of bread - scatter with sliced red onion and bake until the top is crunchy and golden. Some non-traditional methods add cheese here!
  • On the third day, break the bake up so that the bread is broken into the soup - it should be thick enough to eat with a fork!

Another re-cook method I read was to put more vegetables and water into the pot each day and cook for another hour - not so sure about the health and safety of this - I guess you can still only do it for 3 days or so!

I didn't do either re-cook method this time - I ate it all as it was on the first day (with help of course!) But I do like the sound of a variation each day - so will give this a go next time!

Making sure everything is cooked veeerrryyy slowly is really important to get the best taste out of all the vegetables.

La Ribollita


  • 1 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 courgettes, finely chopped
  • 2 stocks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1/2 savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 200g chopped tomatos (either tinned or fresh - I used fresh!)
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • Thyme, sage, rosemary - fresh or dried
  • Dried red chilli, to taste
  • Butter and olive oil for frying
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a knob of butter and a glug of olive oil in a soup pan.

Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and sweat over a very low heat for 10 minutes until soft, then add the spring onion, cabbage, potato and courgette and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the beans, tomatoes, herbs and chilli, then add 1 litre of water and season. Bring to the boil, then simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through.

Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

At this point, you can serve the soup as it is - however, you may want to blend or mash some of it to get a different consistency. This time I left is all whole, however, next time I'll probably try blending 50% of it to see how it turns out!

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