I always thought ribollita had to be made with stale bread. Wikipedia tells me that is not so. It’s simply a “next-day” kind of soup, made with leftovers. That makes sense, as this recipe I was given is pretty much vegetable odds and ends. It was sent to me as “ribollita,” but I’m dubbing it Farmer’s Market Soup. Just to be different.
This is a delicious and simple soup, chock full of vegetables. Right now is the perfect time for finding zucchini and carrots at the farmer’s market; you might also be able to search out some ripe tomatoes to puree slightly to replace the crushed tomatoes from a can.
Farmer’s Market Soup
adapted from The Big Book of Soups and Stews
3 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery stalks, finely sliced (I always add some of the inner celery leaves for flavor)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped (this post from Orangette has a good tutorial for cutting fennel)
2 large zucchini, cut into thin half-moon slices
14 oz crushed tomatoes
10 basil leaves, chiffonaded
4 cups vegetable stock
14 oz can cannellini or Great White Northern beans
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan cheese and Texas toast — optional
1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic, celery, and fennel. Saute slowly for 10 minutes. Add zucchini and saute an additional two minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, basil, stock, beans and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, simmer 25-30 min. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Serve with Texas toast and Parmesan cheese sprinkled lightly over the top of the bowls.
The rest of the family may not have even tried it–but I enjoyed two big bowlfuls while the two sickies in our house slept.