Category Archives: Soups & Stews

In need of comfort

It feels like coming back from Italy was the biggest mistake we possibly could have made. Like the universe is kicking us a bit for making such a foolish decision.

The heat in our house hasn’t been working for 9 of the last 15 days. Kick.
The entire backyard is covered in a thick blanket of leaves and two weekends wasn’t really enough to clean it up before they stop collecting greens. Kick.
Laundry and other household chores have fallen behind thanks to lethargy/cold. Kick.
It doesn’t feel like Christmas.

The only good thing is that I came back from the trip very inspired to explore Tuscan and Florentine cuisine more deeply. I’ve got high hopes for it as everything else I’ve made has been great so far (chestnut flour gnocchi and pappa al pomodoro). I’ve got plans for a panforte, baccalà, and fegatini (chicken liver pate) later this week.

When I was looking for a recipe for ribollita, it was hard to find something that felt quite right. Every restaurant and each cook has their own version of ribollita, much like many other Italian dishes. There is a general consensus on bread, kale, and beans. But differences in quality and consistency cover the board. I knew I wanted to be able to tell what was in the soup and that I like a little tomato in mine. Of course, you can adapt it to your own tastes.

Ribollita (Tuscan Bread Soup)
Adapted from many recipes and differences versions I have tried

3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
4-6 c water
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
14 oz can cannellini beans
1/4 c tomato puree
1/4 lb (110g) stale bread, cubed
Salt, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large pot, saute onions, garlic, and carrots in olive oil. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened.

Add enough water to cover vegetables and kale to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Add beans, tomato puree, and bread. Continue cooking on low heat until bread is very soft, about 15 minutes. If soup is becoming too thick, add additional water.

Season with salt to taste. Serve topped with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.


Leave a comment

Filed under Italian, Soups & Stews, Vegetarian

A soup of my own invention

This post is coming a bit late considering that the weather has finally changed and it is now hot as blazes. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have a summer at all (which would have been fine by me). However, if you find yourself somewhere cold, this soup is just the ticket.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Soups & Stews, Thoughts

Expanding my horizons

I don’t have a photo of this recipe because so little of it made it past dinner time. The new house has meant that I have been trying to keep our grocery bill down more progressively than before.

And meats seemed like a good place to start. There are so many less expensive cuts of meat that I haven’t used or heard of before but so far have been very tasty. I have a freezer stocked with flap meat/sirloin tip, lamb neck, and now, veal breast.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under French, Meat & Fish, Soups & Stews

Cold Weather Comfort Soup


In October, I had the good fortune to go to a little town in Connecticut to celebrate my favorite TV show. I saw many wonderful people and had a great time, despite the cold incessant rain. Bone chilling rain. All. Weekend. Long.

Needless to say, soup was definitely on the mind.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under American, Italian, Soups & Stews

Ghost Pumpkin Soup

white pumpkin soup

This month’s book: Z by Therese Anne Fowler

The holidays call for elegant food. However, the rich stuff you normally eat doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. So how about this for a change: white pumpkin chestnut soup. It’s a great January soup, really. No cream or fat really, aside from a tiny bit of olive oil. It is complex in flavors and very pretty!

The original recipe calls for cooking the fresh pumpkin chunks in the broth and then pureeing and seasoning everything. However, I tend to make an afternoon of roasting, pureeing, and freezing fresh pumpkins in the fall/winter. Especially when I have been given pretty white pumpkins! Standard orange sugar pumpkins will also work. The most important thing is not to use canned pumpkin. It will be too thick and is most likely already sweetened.

White Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Chestnuts
Adapted from Manger

olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
4 c chicken broth
1 large pumpkin, roasted and pureed
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
20-25 roasted chestnuts, broken into 4 to 6 pieces

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add chicken broth and pumpkin puree to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Add seasonings to taste. Serve with 3-4 chestnuts  sprinkled over the top.


Filed under Soups & Stews, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Adding a Little Spice

Moroccan Chicken with Olives

This recipe is the Best Stew with Olives winner according to Food52, and I certainly agree it is delicious. The next few weeks are going to bring about many changes: moving in with my fiance, moving to a new state, starting a new job, still trying to plan a wedding from another state.

Naturally, this has brought about a need for comfort food. I often to turn British food when I want comforting. Mashed potatoes and onion gravy. Crispy-skinned sausages. Toad in a hole. Chicken tikka masala.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Meat & Fish, Moroccan, Soups & Stews

Zucchini Soup


Even from this sad photo taken by my phone, you can tell Arona is like a slice of heaven. I didn’t take any other pictures of my afternoon there because I was too busy soaking it all in. Apologizes. You will just have to go visit it yourself.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Soups & Stews, Vegetable, Vegetarian