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Ribollita Recipe

Ingredients for Ribollita

Ribollita (aka Tuscan Bread Soup)

The other day we received some fresh kale in our weekly organic vegetable box, and this is always a signal for me to make some Ribollita. This classic Tuscan soup highlights many of the characteristics of Tuscan cooking: fresh, simple ingredients; using what's a available with each season; and making use of something that would otherwise go to waste (like stale, dried bread). You can vary the types and quantities of vegetables, but real Ribollita has to have kale, a dark, bumpy member of the cabbage family.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz. can white kidney or cannellini beans
  • 1 15oz. can tomatoes, finely diced
  • 4 cups kale, coarsely chopped
  • Rosemary, leaves from one fresh sprig (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. fresh Oregano leaves, minced (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups sourdough bread cubes, crusts removed
  • salt
  • pepper

Ribollita Soup

In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables (but not the kale), and stir them to blend and coat, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with a little grated parmesan cheese.

Gazpacho Recipe

With temperatures topping 105°F here in central California, and no end to triple digits in sight, there's no chance I'm going to add to our air conditioner's strain by heating up the kitchen. It's time for some cool food, and in the heat of summer there's nothing better than a bowl of gazpacho.

This cold soup originated in Andalucia, the southern portion of Spain. During the time of the Roman Empire, soldiers traveling along the roads would carry with them bread, garlic, vinegar, salt and some olive oil, mashing them together to form a paste. It was a simple, nourishing meal that could be eaten on the run. Fast forward about ten centuries and the arrival of the tomato in Spain, probably brought back from the New World by the conquistadors. Crush the tomatoes along with the other ingredients and you have a basic soup, ideally suited to Andalucia's hot climate.

I don't really use a recipe for my gazpacho -- I just kind of eyeball the quantities. The amounts shown below are more like guidelines.

Gazpacho al Andaluz


  • 2 lbs tomatoes, peeled
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut in pieces
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, cut in pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar (sherry wine vinegar if you have it, otherwise white or red is fine)
  • 2 slices French bread, dried and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Soak the bread in just enough water to thoroughly wet it.

In food processor or blender, puree all of the ingredients together.

Add a little water if you need to thin the mixture.

Refrigerate several hours before serving.

Serve in a bowl topped with garnishes.


  • Cucumber, diced
  • Green bell pepper, diced
  • Tomato, diced
  • Red Onion, finely chopped
  • Croutons, made from one or two slices of French bread

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