Ever have those dulls days when you visit the postbox only to discover with glee, a surprise parcel!!!
It was one of those day and I got somewhat excited to see my belated present from my little sister after her travels abroad to Europe, (Rome, Turkey, London, anyone…?)
I love a good souvenir…Better yet when it comes via someone else. It’s like having a little bit of their holiday in your hand!
Confession, I have a passion for vintage-esque tea towels and as you can see below, I’m now the proud recipient of many others too,
Queue happy dance!
Of the other pretty things decorating the Giaff home at this time, is a gorgeous Paris Metro clock, (in a ring-top pull can no less) and this current favourite read by Skye Gyngell formorly of Petersham Nurseries
It’s all about healthy food…it’s about simple food and it’s about comfort food… I heart Skye Gyngell.
Ribollita, (adapted from My Favourite Ingredients by Skye Gyngell)
Adapted from one of my new favourite reads, is this beautiful Tuscan bean stew which is perfect for the in between weather days, we’re currently experiencing in Australia. Not quite warm, not quite hot, it heralds the soon-to-be arrival of spring.
Time: 1hr 45 mins (resting time if preferred)
1 cup or thereabouts of white beans soaked overnight, (the original recipe suggests cannelloni beans, but I’ve substituted for something similar,)
3L of water or thereabouts,
3 tbsp of olive oil,
1/2 leek chopped (originally calls for 2 onions, use whichever you prefer. I love leeks and just happened to have half in the fridge.)
1 dried red chilli crumbled,
2 celery sticks, chopped roughly,
2 carrots, peeled and also chopped,
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed.
Small bunch of sage, (this is heavenly…whatever else you sub, don’t skip the sage!)
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
Day old bread for soaking up the soup, (farro is suggested in the original recipe, alternatively pasta, Fregola or barley would work well. I’ve simply used the day old bread here.)
400g tinned tomatoes,
1 bunch Cavalo Nero Chopped,
Salt & Pepper to season,
Extra virgin olive oil to serve, best quality you can find and some toasted pine nuts & freshly grated parmesan (a nice little addition I’m adding to mine)
You’ll also need a large 3L pot, a chopping board, knife, vegetable peelers and serving bowls of course.
Soak the white beans overnight in some boiling water, I’ve used just over a cup. Heat the olive oil over a low heat in the soup pot. Add the chopped leeks, chilli and a decent pinch of salt. Sweat gently to release the aromas.
Add the chopped celery, carrot, garlic, potatoes, & sage. You may also add the Fargo or Fregola, or Bread at this stage is using too. Sauté everything for a few minutes and then add the tinned tomatoes, cover and simmer for 20 mins.
Stir in the cooked beans and add some boiling water, approx 1L. Cook until the vegetables soften and switch off the heat. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste and add the Cavalo Nero. (In the original recipe the Cavolo Nero is added just after the water, I wanted to keep some freshness of the greens so I added it in raw the very latter stages.)
Ideally you could leave the soup to cool completely and allow the flavours to infuse (as suggested by Gyngell in her book,)
Before serving, reheat gently with some generous lashings of olive oil and serve soaked with the bread and (my addition) of some toasted Pinenuts & grated Parmesan too.