Sunday, March 17, 2019

Diana Henry's Ribollita & Six Favorite Cabbage Recipes for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Since I don't eat meat, corned beef isn't making an appearance on my table today, but I am working in a couple of classic ingredients; cabbage and potatoes. I've chosen to give them an Italian spin with a cozy bowl of Diana Henry's Ribollita. Ribollita means twice-cooked or reboiled and it is a classic peasant soup from Tuscany that is a good use of leftover bread for a thick and hearty soup.

Diana Henry says, "I never liked the idea of ribollita--it is, after all, cabbage soup, and I've spent too much of my life on the cabbage soup diet--but this is a wonderful, rich, multi-dimensional dish. I learned how to make it (and how important the stock and olive oil are to the final flavour) on a cooking course in Florence. Don't rush it; make it with care and good ingredients and you will be rewarded. Made well, this is one of the world's great soups."

Slightly Adapted from Plenty by Diana Henry
(Serves 4)

8 oz Savoy cabbage or kale
2 Tbsp butter
1 leek, trimmed and chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
4 oz (1/3 lb) waxy potatoes, diced
4 cups chicken or beef stock
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 rosemary sprigs
3 garlic cloves
6 slices coarse white country bread
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans
2 large plum tomatoes

Cut the coarse central core from the cabbage, and slice the leaves. Melt the butter in a large, heavy pan and sauté the leeks and celery until pale gold, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cabbage or kale, and potatoes and cook for another 12 minutes, turning the vegetables over in the butter every so often. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan with the rosemary and 2 of the garlic cloves (leave them whole and unpeeled). When the oil starts to shimmer and the ingredients turn light brown, remove from the heat and leave to infuse.

Toast the bread and rub each piece with the remaining garlic clove (peeled, this time). Add the beans to the soup and cook for another 10 minutes.

Drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and leave for 10 seconds. Lift them out and rinse in cold water, then slip off the skins. Halve the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds (discard them), and cube the flesh. Add the tomatoes and flavored oil to the soup and taste for seasoning.

In another large saucepan, layer the soup with the bread (break it up to help spread it out) and leave to cool. Put the soup in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, bring it to room temperature, then bring to a boil again. Serve, drizzled lavishly with more extra-virgin olive oil.

Notes/Results: For a humble peasant soup, there are quite a few different steps to making it between the rosemary-garlic oil, the garlic-rubbed toast, the peeled and chopped tomatoes, then layering the soup and bread, letting it cool, and letting it sit in the fridge overnight before reboiling it, but none of it is difficult to do and the result is well-worth it. The flavor of this simple soup really shines and it is thick and satisfying--the perfect comfort food. I forgot to drizzle the olive oil on the top before my photos, but I did take the extra step of chopping the rosemary leaves and garlic cloves that I steeped in the oil and used them as garnish. I used vegan butter and good vegan non-chicken bullion and for a vegan version. I would happily make it again.

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is our Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Cabbage

Below are six more of my favorite dishes featuring cabbage from out IHCC chefs.

My absolute favorite cabbage recipe is also from Diana Henry, her Cabbage and Leek Colcannon. So buttery, so delicious!

Cabbage was meant for fish tacos and Curtis Stone's Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos with Pico de Gallo are a great version.

Simple, flavorful and colorful, Jacques Pépin's Curried Coleslaw is perfect with fish.

Cabbage plays a supporting role in another tasty Diana Henry dish, Freekeh with Greens, Fennel, and Chile.

Ina's Cabbage Cucumber Slaw is wonderful with her Roasted Salmon Tacos.

Nigel Slater's Goat Cheese Bubble & Squeak is fun side dish that features cabbage.

And we have several good friends here for Souper Sundays, let's take a look...

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen is here with Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad (with Vegan Black Pudding) and said, "To make this warm salad more of a substantial dish, I finished it off with some sliced of vegetarian black pudding, but that is optional. This certainly made a welcome change from our boring lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad."

Debra of Eliot's Eats shared Red Cabbage Keilbasa and Cannellini Bean Soup and said, "One of the first contests I entered this year was one sponsored by Aunt Nellie’s. I won third place honors, a $25 gift card and a gift package of Aunt Nellie’s products (most beet related). In the package was a jar of sweet and sour red cabbage. I had no idea what to do with it. Aunt Nellie’s website came through and I decided to make this soup based on a recipe found there. I added some wine (of course), decreased the amount of cabbage, and added hot paprika to my version."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made White Bean, Corn and Smoked Sausage Soup and said, "This one could also be named clean-out-the-fridge-soup, but white beans and sausage would be more appealing on a menu.  I'm glad I am keeping track of recipes on this blog because often enough I need to search it when I am grocery shopping.  Hoping Blogspot doesn't just go away because I'd be unhappy to lose all the recipes I have posted over the last 10 years."

Beth Fish Reads is trying out the Skinnytaste One & Done Cookbook and one of the recipes she made and enjoyed was the Chicken Tortilla Soup. She says, "I made a chicken soup (recipe below) in the pressure cooker, which had just the right level of heat. The curry-flavored roasted vegetables, a sheet pan dinner (shown at the right), was delicious as is but would also be good over rice or couscous. Note that I didn't make the green chutney but used my own homemade fruit chutney instead."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

 Have a happy, healthy week & Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. The Ribollita looks delicious as do all of the other recipes! Wanted to take a minute to thank you for the sharing party and let you know that I'm adding a link to your Souper Sundays on my blog which will be published by the end of today 3/19/19. A compilation of Linky parties for Food Bloggers. :) Thanks so much!

  2. I didn't get to add a cabbage recipe to IHCC (out of town). But, I am loving all the cabbage recipes. Perfect for pinning for next year's St. Paddy's Day!

  3. So many great cabbage recipes here! I brought you a fish sandwich this week. I like the direction IHCC is going by using all the previous chefs. Cool idea.


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