Virtual Recipe Club - Soup edition
Alysha at The Savory Notebook has come up with a pretty neat idea, a virtual recipe club. She's still toying with it being a weekly or a monthly. As she puts it, "I'm torn. I think I'll wait until the end of the week to see what the round-up looks like and then decide. A month seems too long, but perhaps a week isn't enough time. I'm not dead-set on either one, so let's just see what works best for everyone else."
I think a monthly event works well for me as long as it's the same time each month, I'll be able to remember it. But I'll be happy to join in even if it's weekly.
Her current theme is soups. And I just happen to have a recipe that I've recently tried and REALLY liked. It's called Ribollita (Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup). It was a goup effort soup made at work by all of the library staff. We selected a recipe and posted the ingredients in the staff kitchen. Everyone signs up to bring in at least one of the ingredients. I usually bring in my big soup pot.
Last month the soup selected was the Ribollita and we chose to make it on a Wednesday as most of the staff work on that day. Tuesday afternoon, ingredients began to fill up the fridge and on the big day, we made soup.
The best part is the aroma. It fills up the entire building. Our library is has a homey feel to it as it is, but when you fill it with the aroma of good food, it's like heaven. Library patrons come in sniffing and asking what smells so good. When we tell them it's staff soup day, they want to be made staff just for the day. Hehe. We've even had them ask for the recipe.
I didn't take picures because 1) I didn't know at the time that I'd be blogging about it and, 2) nobody at work knows I have this blog! I've kept it my little secret. It's almost slipped out once or twice and I know that sooner or later someone's gonna find out. Let's hope it's later. I don't mind non-coworker friends or family reading it but felt I needed to keep it out of my work life. Does that sound strange?
Anyway, on to the recipe.
Ribollita (Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 cans (15 oz. each) small white beans (or cannellini beans)
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups tomato sauce
3 cups stale chewy Italian bread, crust removed (tear bread into small chunks)
1 small white onion, finely chopped , for garnish
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
Heat a large sauce pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil, garlic, onion, carrots, celery and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add beans, chicken stock, and tomato sauce. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid and stir in bread chunks. Continue stirring. When soup becomes thick* and bread is distributed evenly, adjust seasonings. Remove the bay leaf.
Serve soup in shallow bowls and top with raw onion, generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
*Some Ribollitas can be so thick the spoon will stand upright in the pot. Make yours as thick or as thin as you like by adding more bread or chicken stock.