30th December 2012


listen carefully



body and mind

and you will always







Many, many versions of this soup.  My version replaces the bread with whole barley, red or wild rice. Traditionally, ribollita uses cavelo nero kale – a beautiful black cabbage.  I use a combination of savoy cabbage, kale, spinach or chard.  I have been making this soup on these cold and drippy days.  It sits on the stove and we go back and forth,  filling our bowls, our tummies and warming our hands.  

Also, allow this dish to guide you.   Patience, gentle and respectful cooking results in a dish that is more flavourful and it calms and soothes the mind and emotions while renewing the body.

Serves 4, with second helpings

ingredients :

1 cup dried cannellini beans\chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight  (I keep pre-soaked beans in the freezer ready to use)

3 Tblsp oil/ghee

½ dried chilli, crumbled

small handful fresh sage

5 cm sprig fresh rosemary

2 sprigs lemon thyme

2 bay leaves

2 sticks celery, chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 potato, peeled and diced

1 small white cabbage, shredded

¼ cup barley, rinsed

8 cups water/ vegetable stock

1 cup finely chopped cherry tomatoes (or tin good-quality peeled tomatoes)

2 Tblsp tomato paste

bunch of cavelo nero kale, thick stalks removed, roughly chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

extra virgin olive oil, to serve

preparation :

Drain the beans and place them in a heavy-based saucepan.  Generously cover with water, add a pinch of baking soda and simmer over a low heat for an hour.


Heat the ghee or oil in a large cooking pot over a low heat.  Add the dried chilli, bay leaves,  fresh sage, rosemary and thyme.  Cook for a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to open up.

Add the celery, carrots, potato, and barley/rice.  Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the cabbage, tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable stock.  Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.

Stir in the beans/chickpeas, cover and cook for an hour or more, adding water if needed until the vegetables and beans are really soft.  Add a generous pinch of salt and a few good grindings of black pepper.

Remove from heat and allow to sit for an hour to improve the flavours.  Reheat and stir in the kale.

Ladle into warm bowls and generously drizzle with a bright green, rich, peppery olive oil.

slow down and savour this dish


 Goodness shared from Stacey

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