Thursday, January 14, 2010


This is another great clean out the fridge / freezer soup. I took this recipe , tweaked it based on what I had on hand, and added some spicy turkey sausage to make it more appealing to the carnivore contingent in my household. Unfortunately there were too many greens present....and they barely gave it a glance. Oh well, more for me!


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound / 500g bag frozen rapini (or any other green you'd like)
4 cups cooked white beans or a mixture of whatever kind you have on hand- I used navy beans and anasazi beans
1 lb spicy sausage (I used a turkey sausage)
1/2 pound crustless loaf of bread
1 1/2+ teaspoons fine grain sea salt
zest of one lemon
lots of well-chopped oily black olives

In your largest thick-bottomed pot over medium heat combine the olive oil, celery, garlic, carrot, and red onion. Cook for 10 -15 minutes sweating the vegetables, but avoid any browning. Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so, long enough for the tomatoes to thicken up a bit. Stir in the greens, 3 cups of the beans, and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add sausage, if using. I throw mine in frozen, and then fish them out at the end, slice and add back into the soup.

In the meantime, mash or puree the remaining beans with a generous splash of water - until smooth. Tear the bread into bite-sized chunks. Stir both the beans and bread into the soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bread breaks down and the soup thickens, 20 - 30 minutes. Stir in the salt, taste and add more if needed. Stir in the lemon zest.

Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate overnight. Serve reheated, or "ribollita" meaning reboiled, the next day ladled into bowls. Finish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped olives.

Makes a large pot of soup - enough for 10 servings. Freezes well.

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