for 4-6 portions
2 roast chicken leftovers or just water for vegetarian version
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 parsley, coarsely chopped
1 piece of celeriac, diced
1 small leek
1.5 liters of water
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 small carrots, sliced
1 parsley root cut into slices
2 sprigs of celery, cut into 0.5cm slices
2 zucchinis, cut into cubes
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch of Tuscan cabbage or kale
2 cups cooked beans or 1 big jar of cannelini beans
some broccoli florets steamed
toasted ciabatta or country bread
I am so glad the farmers’ markets are undergoing their renaissance in this country recently. The tradition of buying fresh produce on farmers’ markets has always been strong in this country. However, with the emergence of the new farmer’s markets there is an array of fruits and vegetables that were long forgotten. And so the farmers are producing kale, which is becoming widely popular. You can buy golden beets, chioggias and Swiss chard and violet potatoes or Jerusalem artichokes. Not so obvious produce to buy a few years back. I was especially happy when on the stalls of one my befriended producer I happened to come across cavolo nero. Called also Tuscan cabbage this cabbage plays important role in the preparation of traditional Tuscan soup ribollita. Ribollita is a version of minestrone, vegetables, tomatoes, cannellini beans and cavolo nero. A thick soup, healthy and comforting. It derives its name from it improving the taste with reheating. Ribollita – cooked two times. If you are not lucky to buy cavolo nero – you can substitute kale for a similar effect.
In a large saucepan warm up the oil, add the onion and fry lightly. Into the pot add carrots, leeks, celeriac and parsley and a clove of garlic in the husk. Fry the vegetables for another minute, add the chicken and pour water. Add the thyme and bay leave and season everything with salt and pepper and cook over low heat for half an hour. Remove the soup from the heat and drain. Discard the cooked vegetables. Pour the broth into the pot. Add to the soup the chopped vegetables: carrots, parsnips and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened, then add celery, chopped zucchini and tomatoes. Cook for another 10 minutes. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. At the end to the soup add the beans and cavolo nero or kale – stems removed and cut into thin strips and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with shaved parmesan, parsley, broccoli. Put some croutons on top and drizzle with olive oil.
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