Flavour of the Month January: Winter Warmer Soup
What’s in season in January?
Apples, clementines, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pomegranates, rhubarb, satsumas, tangerines
Almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts
Beetroot, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, parsnips, potato, shallots, swedes, turnips
Winter Warmer Ribolitta Soup
Timing: Preparation 20 mins Cooking: 30 mins
Equipment: Large saucepan, hob, oven
This Tuscan peasant soup has many variations but always includes cannellini beans, leftover bread and vegetables. Ribollitta means reboiled. The soup would be made at the beginning of the week and added to with any spare vegetables, beans or bread, as the week went on.
It’s cheap, simple and a great way to use up leftovers; most importantly it’s absolute deliciousness!
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions chopped
3 carrots, diced
1 stick celery, finely sliced
100g pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 large handfuls kale (or Spring greens or Savoy cabbage )
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tin tomatoes and juice
1 tin cannellini beans
500ml chicken stock
Parmesan rind (optional) – only if you have some left over
Day old bread – half a loaf
Small handful parsley, chopped
- (Optional) 24 hrs beforehand (if possible): Make infused oil by putting the zest of one lemon (avoid the white pith which is bitter) & a few cloves of garlic, individually peeled into a small jar of olive oil. Set aside.
- Chop onions (use a food processor for speed)
- Chop carrots (use a food processor for speed)
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat oil over a medium heat.
- Add onions & pancetta and sauté 10 mins.
- Lower heat & add carrots, celery, garlic, salt & pepper and cook a further 10 mins until vegetables are tender. Check with a sharp knife – should cut through flesh without resistance
- Add tomatoes, purée and sliced kale / cabbage. Sauté 10 minutes.
- Add stock & beans.
- To thicken the soup a portion of the beans can be puréed.
- Add Parmesan rind if desired (optional) – only if you have some left over
- Bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer 15-20 mins.
- Stir in fresh chopped parsley & torn day-old bread.
- Always taste! Add more salt if necessary.
I used half a lemon and 2 cloves of garlic to half a normal sized cup of oil. We have lots left over now too.
Serve with a drizzle of the infused oil, grated Parmesan & crusty bread.
Can be made vegetarian and vegan by omitting pancetta and using vegetable instead of chicken stock.
- You can substitute any other beans (e.g. borlotti, black eyed peas) or vegetables (e.g. cabbage, Brussel sprouts, courgettes)
- Don’t throw away the rind of any Parmesan cheese. Add it to the soup for added depth of flavour.
- A drizzle of olive oil (infused with garlic and/or lemon rind perhaps) finishes off the dish perfectly