Summer Ribollita

Inspired by a recipe found in the Lark: Cooking Against the Grain cookbook, this ribollita celebrates the beautiful vegetables of summer.

Ingredients:
1 cup summer squash, cut into ½-inch dice
1 cup tomatoes, cored and cut into ½-inch dice
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup rainbow Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves cut into 2-inch strips
½ jarred cooked cannellini beans, drained of brine
2 slices of day-old bread, lightly toasted and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ cup dry white wine
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons torn basil leaves, for finishing
Pistou (see recipe)

Method:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until lightly golden, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until softened but not brown. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to maintain a simmer and let wine reduce slightly, 1-2 minutes.

2. Add the summer squash, all the tomatoes and green beans. Stir in the bread pieces, kale and the cannellini beans.

3. Add the 4 cups of chicken stock and then season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

4. To serve, stir 3 tablespoons of the pistou sauce into the ribollita and immediately ladle into serving bowls. Sprinkle the basil over the ribollita and then add a healthy grating of Grana-style cheese. Serve with the additional pistou on the side.

Sweet Italian Sausage & Orzo Ribollita

This spin on the classic Italian soup features puttanesca sauce, orzo pasta and toasted Pomodoro bread.

Ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil, plus additional for drizzling over the bread
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, 1 minced and 1 whole
1 quart Nonna Pat’s puttanesca sauce
3 cups chicken stock
1 3-inch Parmesan cheese rind
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons combined fresh thyme leaves and chopped parsley
1 bunch Lacinato kale, greens removed from ribs and torn into bite-sized pieces
½ cup orzo pasta
4-6 slices pomodoro loaf
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, sausage and minced garlic. Cook, crumbling the sausage into small pieces, until the onion is golden brown and the sausage is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

2. Add the puttanesca sauce and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, herbs and Parmesan rind. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then add the orzo and kale, and simmer an additional 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked and kale is wilted.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Drizzle the sliced pomodoro bread with olive oil. Toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub the top of the toasts with the whole garlic clove. Place the toasts in the serving bowls and ladle the soup over the toasts. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Variation: In leiu of the pomodoro bread, free free to sub in the sourdough dinner rolls crafted from this week’s starter!

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