This week it's all about soup, because I haven't been feeling all that great. The second soup of the week was Giada's Ribollita. Yum.
Seth also enjoyed it. So much that he suggested that I lose my Minestrone recipe and only make Ribollita. He actually didn't know about Ribollita, and neither did I, so I Googled. It turns out that it's a Tuscan soup traditionally made of leftovers and stale bread.
Ribollita is an easy soup to make, and the pancetta adds a flavor that's quite nice. If you like Minestrone, try this soup!
by Giada De Laurentiis
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some for the bread
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped*
4 oz. pancetta, chopped
2 cloves garlic, 1 minced and 1 whole
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 T tomato pste
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1-pound frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1-15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
1 T Herbs de Provence
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 Parmesan rind
4 to 6 ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise or 1 loaf, sliced
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, pancetta, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is golden brown and the pancetta is crisp, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add tomatoes and stir, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Drizzle the ciabatta halves with olive oil. Toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub the top of the toasts with the whole garlic clove. Place the toasts in the serving bowls and ladle the soup over the toasts.* Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.
*Carrots: I used two, instead of one.
*Toasts: I neglected to toast the ciabatta and use it at the bottom of the soup bowl. Even without the toast, we very much enjoyed the soup, but next time we will be trying this with toast or some stale bread.