The Beehive
hotel & cafe
15 February 2013

A hearty, yummy soup from Casa MB

Steve's ribollita

Steve is the cook in our household (dubbed Casa MB).  He’s got an annoying gift of not following recipes and just throwing stuff together with whatever he finds in our refrigerator.  If you’re familiar with this American television show from the ’80s you’ll understand my reference when I say that I call him the “MacGyver” of the kitchen.  His gift is annoying to me because I’m the pathetic cook who is a mess in the kitchen, has to follow a recipe and if I’m missing one ingredient – it’s freak out time!  Well, perhaps I exaggerate – I have my golden moments in the kitchen too, but not very often.  I guess I would have more of those moments with experience, but when you have such a great cook in the house who actually enjoys doing it – why bother?

Steve is a big fan of “cucina povera” – the style of Italian cooking that uses very simple, very few, in season ingredients to create delicious dishes.  It’s been a bit chilly around here lately and we had lots of cavolo nero (kale) and stale bread so he decided to make a ribollita – a typical Tuscan soup. I was completely blown away by this insanely delicious soup and despite our abstinence recently from wine – we decided the soup and the day deserved a glass of red wine to go with it.  Here’s his version of a recipe – give it a try and let us know how it works for you.

STEVE’S RIBOLLITA
Soak about 200 g of cannellini beans overnight.
Cut up:
1 onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
Sauté these ingredients in a good amount of olive oil with a small pinch of chili pepper flakes.
Add in a bunch of cavolo nero/kale (I rip off and dispose of the tough rib and just chop the leaves up) and you can use a good bunch because it cooks down a lot.
Rinse the beans.  Put the beans in a pot and add water (about twice as much to cover what you have, or more).  I put in 1 big tablespoon of good bouillon broth (we are vegetarian so use a vegetable broth – our favorite is Rapunzel) and about 1/4 cup of passata di pomodoro.  If you have some fresh rosemary, throw a good size sprig in too.
Let it boil gently for at least 2 hours, regulating the heat so that
a – it doesn’t stick
b – it doesn’t dry out (if it does, add water or cover)
c – it doesn’t stay all watery (if it does, turn up the heat and cook longer)
Cut up about 4 big pieces of stale, ideally Tuscan/Umbrian style salt-less bread and put it in.  Let this cook too for at least 30 minutes so it breaks down and really thickens the soup.
I like to let it sit a while before eating.  This soup is really great the next day as leftovers as well.
Season with salt if needed and add some olive oil as well.

6 to “A hearty, yummy soup from Casa MB”

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  1. […] you want to make a kickass Ribollita (bean soup), you have to soak the beans overnight, then boil them for at least a few hours, checking almost […]

  1. tony and heather howard says...

    this is the place to stay in rome. linda steve and all there staf are brill. love to you all and hope to see you all again soon.xx

  2. Michelle Oberholtzer says...

    I made this soup last night… Let me just say…. FABULOUS!
    The cooking aroma had everyones attention – including my meat loving husband! And they ate every drop…. Very satisfied and happy! Definite winner in my house! Can’t wait to make it again!

  3. Krista says...

    That sounds and looks absolutely fantastic. :-) We’re heading into Autumn here in Australia, so this sounds perfect. :-)

  4. maggie mccormack says...

    The recipe sounds just my style of food. Really hoping my friend and I get booked into The Beehive in September !!
    Looking forward to Rome very much and to stay in such a great friendly and uplifting place x

  5. The Slow Web Movement | Cross Pollinate says...

    […] you want to make a kickass Ribollita (bean soup), you have to soak the beans overnight, then boil them for at least a few hours, checking almost […]

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