Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Italian Bread Soup....Ribollita

This is an Italian peasant soup traditionally made with only vegetables and leftover stale bread.  I added ground turkey to mine but probably didn't need to. The saying is that if a wooden spoon can stand straight up in the pot, the soup is done....mine did! It gets better after a day or two, so makes for great lunches.

2 Tbl olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, cut in thirds
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 cup parsley
6 -8 garlic cloves
2 strips bacon, cut in thirds
1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes
1  12 ounce can tomato or V8 juice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
10 cups chicken broth
1  14 -15 ounce can chick peas
1 or 2 14-15 ounce cans white beans
5 cups chopped cabbage
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup small, dry pasta
4 slices stale white bread, crusts removed

In a LARGE soup pot, brown the ground turkey in the olive oil.  Remove from pot and set aside.
Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and bacon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is a little finer than a dice. Put the mixture in the soup pot and saute until the mixture softens a bit. Add the meat, salt, black pepper, red pepper and Italian seasoning to the pot. Stir and add the tomatoes and juice.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil and then simmer for about ten minutes.  Add the cabbage, chick peas and white beans and simmer another 10 minutes.  Add the pasta and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Tear the bread in pieces and add along with the spinach leaves.  Simmer until the spinach wilts.

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