Sunday, November 25, 2012


Back from Costa Rica and ready to start soup and stew season in earnest!  Tonight I created my first meal in the new Le Creuset dutch oven Wayne got for me (thanks again, Wayne!).  I am in love.  It heats so evenly.  Simmering was like no simmer I've experienced before.  I am excited for all the soups and stews (and occasional pot roast, braised chicken, etc) I will make in it.

Tonight I made a Ribollita - Italian "reboiled" vegetable soup.  I first had this in Rome in 1998, and after the first time I had it on the trip, I was trying to eat it at every restaurant we went to.  It is a really thick, hearty soup, and the magic happens by adding chunks of bread to the soup, simmering until they dissolve, and then letting it set overnight.  When you reheat the next day, the flavors have come together and the soup is rich and satisfying.

Before adding the bread:

Here it comes:

Bread is dissolved and broth is much thicker:

The recipe I used is from 101 Cookbooks.  This is the link:

So far the only modification I have made is to add only about half of a lemon's worth of lemon zest.  When I reheat tomorrow I will check seasonings and adjust as needed.  Will post how it turns out.

In the meantime, since I officially started soup and stew season two weeks ago when I made Wild Rice, Butternut Squash and Cannellini Stew, I wanted to post the link for that recipe from Sunset.  It is one of our favorites, and is really, really good with LOTS of parmigiano reggiano sprinkled on top.  It transforms the dish which is not nearly as good without it, so don't make it without buying the grated parmigiano reggiano!  Yes, that is a disclaimer for anyone who makes it without!
As for the link:

Finally, a big thank you to Helen for the suggestion of the White Bean Soup from Williams Sonoma to try.  Sounds delicious!  Will definitely be giving it a try.  [And I did!  See:]

Enjoy and be healthy!

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