Ribollita – Hearty Vegetable Soup
I love making warm and hearty vegetable style soups this time of year. Most of the time I just get the leftover veggies from the fridge and throw them into a pot to simmer down into a nourishing symphony of flavours that make me feel warm and revitalised. This recipe for Ribollita is from my 80/20 cookbook and what I love is that it lasts for days in the fridge once it’s made, so you can enjoy it for lunch or dinner topped with a little pesto or fine grated Grana Padano. I love to use the thick hearty leaves of cavolo nero (Tuscan Cabbage) and sometimes Savoy cabbage like my grandmother used to do. This is the perfect budget friendly recipe to nourish a healthy body.
What’s great about it:
Kale is part of the cabbage family and this wonderful vegetable is a good source of all three antioxidants: beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. It is also rich in naturally occurring glucosinolates, which help in the fight against cancer. Carrots contain vitamin A precursors called carotenoids (Beta carotene) that help promote vision and support a healthy immune system. Beans are a good source of protein that is essential to repair the body and nourish the immune system. They also contain fibre that helps to delay glucose absorption keeping our blood sugar more stable as well as supporting healthy digestion and colon health. Tomatoes are a wonderful source of vitamin B6, C, K, beta-carotene, potassium and manganese. The lycopene (phytonutrient) in tomatoes has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and cancer, Black pepper improves digestion and has antioxidant and antibacterial effects.
1 onion, finely diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 carrot, chopped
2 sticks, celery, sliced
800 g ripe tomato, chopped
500g of cavolo nero ( Tuscan cabbage) see notes
350 g chopped sweet potato or parsnip – with the skin
500 ml water
250 g cooked borlotti beans
100 g baby spinach
1 bunch parsley, chopped
Grana Padano or Parmesan so serve
Pesto to serve (optional)
Sauté onions, garlic, carrot and celery for 3 minutes in a little olive oil until softened.
Wash cavolo nero and roughly chop the leaves. Add them to the vegetables with the sweet potato.
Add tomato and water to just cover then bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat.
Simmer for 30 minutes until thick and stew like.
Add beans and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Fold through parsley and baby spinach.
Season with a generous amount of black pepper and a little sea salt.
Serve in bowls topped with pesto and Grana Padano.
Notes and Inspiration:
Sauté 50 g proscuitto - a salt cured ham and add to the soup for a flavour boost.
Add a pinch of chilli if you want a little heat.
Keeps for 3 days in the fridge.
Can be frozen for unto 3 months.
Curley Kale or Savoy Cabbage can be used in place of cavolo nero.