Tuscan al fresco – Zuppa

zuppa

RIBOLLITA
Ribollita means reboiled. Traditionally, ribollita is a bread-thickened vegetable soup. This recipe comes from a restaurant in Florence, the Giannino in Florence.

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 cup cannellini beans, uncooked
1 large red onion, sliced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 potatoes, diced
10 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 cups swiss chard, shredded
1 leek
1 savoy cabbage, shredded
1 bunch kale, shredded
salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 days old stale Tuscan white bread

Preparation:

1-Soak the beans overnight and then cook over low heat. It will take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours for them to cook.
2- In a pan, gently fry the onion. Add the other vegetables, with the exception of the cabbage, kale and beans which are added at a later point. When the vegetables have sweated out their juice, cover with hot water and then add all the cabbage and kale. Cover and simmer for an hour over medium heat.
3-Add the cooked beans (some of them whole and some puréed), salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring frequently because the beans tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato paste.
4-Slice the stale bread and, in an earthenware casserole, alternate layers of bread with the soup until the bread is soaked. Let rest for one day.
5-To serve, remove the desired quantity from the casserole and reheat it, or “re-boil” it, as the name in Italian suggests.
Buon appetito!

Inspire The Chef – The Soup !

Image

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH CANDIED SEEDS

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash, 2 to 3 pounds
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks,
cut in half crosswise.

2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup diced onion
2 tbsp butter
4 cups chicken broth
1 dash ground ginger
1 dash ground nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sea salt
Butter-toasted squash seeds

Preparation:

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Cut into chunks, removing seeds and soft fibers with a spoon.
Put in a bowl; add apple cider, brown sugar, and cinnamon stick pieces then drizzle all over with the melted butter.
Pour the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking pan; cover tightly with foil and cook at 450° for 1 hour, or until very tender.
Cook diced onion in a large saucepan in the 2 tablespoons butter.
When onion is very tender, add chicken broth; bring to a boil; remove from heat and set aside. When squash is very tender, remove from oven.
Remove cinnamon from the squash. With a slotted spoon, transfer the squash to the chicken broth and onion mixture. Add about 1/4 cup of the roasting pan juices to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
Working in about 4 batches, puree the squash mixture in a blender; return to the saucepan. Stir in the ginger and nutmeg and the heavy cream, along with salt, to taste.
Heat through. Serve with butter-toasted pumpkin seeds (below), if desired, or sprinkle with a little cinnamon, toasted pecans, or chopped peanuts.

BUTTER-TOASTED SQUASH SEEDS:
In a small skillet, heat 2 teaspoons butter; add a few tablespoons of squash seeds and cook over medium-low heat until lightly browned.
Transfer to a paper towel to drain; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Corn Chowder in Boule’

Image

 One of my favorite ways to serve creamy soups to my guests, is to serve them in Bread Bowls or Boule’.  Almost always guests think you have spent hours preparing this dish just for them, when in reality it is so simple to make.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups canned vegetable stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
6 ears corn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
4-Boule’ or round  French bread

Preparation:

Bread Bowls

With a small sharp knife cut around the top or crown of the boule’ and pull off the top. Hollow out the inside of each boule’ and set aside. 464526843_83ec55f70a

Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil and boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down (this will help to thicken the soup and give it a good texture).

Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the parsley and give it another little drink of olive oil. Ladle the soup into bread bowls, garnish with a pat of butter and fresh parsley and serve.

Butternut Squash Soup with Candied Seeds

Image

Ingredients:

3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 medium butternut squash – peeled, seeded and cubed, (reserve the seeds)
1 32 oz contained chicken stock
Fresh Parsley
Light Brown Sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.

Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Sautee the seeds in a small pan with 1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp water and 1 tbsp of light brown sugar until mixture becomes thickened. Set aside

Serving:

Serve soup in a medium bowl garnished with fresh parsley and candied seeds.