Ribollita ~ (vegan)

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Once again, I’ve turned to The Silver Spoon cookbook for a recipe. The weather here in PA has teased us towards believing spring is right around the corner, but there is still snow in our forecast. So…it’s time for soup. And, I wasn’t looking for a vegan dish, this thick soup just happens to have vegan characteristics. I couldn’t find cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage) so I used a mixture of kale and savoy cabbage. I also doubled the recipe so that we’ll have soup for a few days which meant I could not finish the recipe off the way it’s written; meaning I didn’t put bread in the bottom of a dutch oven and put it in the oven. I didn’t have a dutch oven large enough! Instead, I put a piece of thick rustic bread in the bottom of each individual bowl, drizzled olive oil over it, and then I ladled the soup over the bread.  This worked just fine. Enjoy!

Serves 4

4 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery, chopped

3 fresh or canned tomatoes, peeled (save the juice from can and use as water)

1 fresh thyme sprig

2 potatoes, coarsely diced

7 1/2 cups shredded cavolo nero

1 cup fresh white beans, or 1/2 cup dried white beans, soaked in cold water overnight and drained

4 slices country-style bread

salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot, add the carrot, onion, and celery, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and potatoes and cook for a few minutes, then add the cavolo nero and beans. Pour in 8 3/4 cups water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bread on the bottom of a large dutch oven and ladle in the soup. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper and drizzle with oil.

Wine served: 1999 Castello Banfi, Excelsus Montalcino

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