Amongst the ways this little blog has changed our lives, one of the biggest is our willingness to try both new dishes and new ingredients, especially new vegetables. Prior to blogging, I can honestly tell you that my vegetable repertoire consisted of whichever common varieties were available in the frozen bags at the grocery store. I had certainly had the standard corn, peas, carrots, green beans and broccoli, but had never ventured out into the world of other veggies. Even asparagus was relatively new to me when I started blogging.
All of that brings me to this soup. While the vegetables in here do not get too exotic, I can certainly say there was a time when cooking with kale, fresh cabbage, and broccoli rabe would have been way outside my comfort zone! As you would expect, the bread in here soaks up much of the extra liquid leaving you with a soups that packs a hearty punch while managing to stay pretty light.
I have to admit that the health factor was one of my primary reasons for choosing to make this recipe. Lots of vegetables in a hearty dish. What I didn’t expect was how much we would really enjoy this. I knew it would be good, but not this good. My husband has been talking about it all week and basically ate all the leftovers himself. If you’re looking for a way to warm up or maybe lighten up after a heavy Valentine’s Day meal, I would highly recommend this soup. Enjoy!
Ribollita (Italian Bread Soup)
Found on MyRecipes.com, Recipe from Cooking Light
3 cups, crusty whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup celery, chopped
6 cups water, divided
1 pkg. (6 cups) kale, stemmed, leaves chopped
6 cups chopped cabbage
4 cups broccoli rabe (can substitute regular broccoli)
2 cups Yukon gold or red potato, peeled, cubed into 1-inch cubes
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 (14.5oz) can chopped tomatoes with fluid
2 (15oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup shaved or grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place 3 cups bread on a baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven; cool.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery to pan; saute 5 minutes. Add garlic, and saute 1 minute. Add 5 cups of water and next 6 ingredients (through tomatoes). Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until greens are wilted, stirring occasionally. It will seem like the greens will never wilt. Stir it occasionally. They will cook, just slowly. Mash 1 can of beans. Add mashed beans and remaining 1 cup of water to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until potato and carrot are tender.
Stir in bread, remaining can of beans, salt, thyme, oregano, and red pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Ladle about 1-1/2 cups of soup into bowls. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese.