I’m supposed to be blogging tonight about the day trip I took to Ferrara with Gabrielle when she was here at Thanksgiving (yep, that’s how far behind I am, folks!), but instead I am going to tell you all about my dinner, cooking blog-style. If it wasn’t already apparent, I LOVE cooking, and I am loving the availability of fresh produce here, even in December.
Today was dedicated to running errands and taking care of things at my apartment in preparation for my family’s arrival on Tuesday, and after all of that was done I was totally craving a warm, wintery soup. There’s nothing quite like sitting down in front of a movie with a warm filling meal, a cup of tea, and presents to wrap to make you feel festive and wintery. The only thing I was missing was a fire.
Tonight’s meal was a take on a Tuscan classic called ribolitta. A traditional ribolitta, which translates to “reboiled,” is a vegetable soup with bread added to it. The idea was that one could repurpose minestrone the next day, though many ribolitte nowadays are made initially with bread.
Mine, since I had no bread, was made with tagliatelle instead. I’m actually going to Christen it 10 Euro Soup, since that was all I had on me when I nipped over to the market to pick up ingredients. I wound up with a bag of dried white beans, dried porcini mushrooms, a zucchini, a leek, celery, fresh rosemary and chicory. I also bought aluminum foil and dish soap, but those are beside the point. To those ingredients, I added red wine, garlic, onion, bouillon, lentils, the tagliatelle, and carrots from my kitchen.
Here’s my recipe, more or less:
Rehydrate beans, lentils, and mushrooms in water. I put the mushrooms in later than the beans so they didn't get too too soft.
Once beans are fairly soft, sautee celery, onions, and whole garlic gloves in olive oil, cracked salt, and a tiny bit of butter. Whole garlic is unconventional, but I've found that when not minced, it maintains a sweeter flavor in broths.
Start making stock, using boullion cubes (mine were generic meat) and red wine. Let it simmer a bit to reduce, then turn off the heat so it sets up.
Chop your veggies. Here are my zucchini and my leek, all ready to go. I like smaller pieces so more flavors can fit on my spoon, but that's up to you.
Once the stock is ready and the onions have started to caramelize, drain the water from the beans and combine them with the stock and the onion mixture. I used a slotted spoon to lift out my onions so I could save the liquids for sauteeing my veggies. I also added a few whole sprigs of rosemary. Fresh rosemary is one of the best flavors known to man, and the stalks are really easy to eat around once the soup is done.
Slice and sautee the carrots, just until they start to turn golden.
Once the carrots were softened a bit, I added them into the soup base and covered it to simmer for 15 minutes. I left the zucchini and leek out until after I
My final two ingredients: chicory and tagliatelle. I don
Once the zucchini is softened, add the tagliatelle and chicory. Since the tagliatelle takes only five minutes to cook, everything else should be basically done by this point. I also added another splash of wine and some water, to ensure the noodles had something to absorb.
All done! And now I have leftovers.