Baby Oliver arrived so I wanted to bring my friend Lynne a hearty, healthy dinner. I took a prenatal yoga class years ago where I learned that there's nothing better to eat postpartum than soup because you're replenishing your body with nutrients to help heal. "They say" this also helps with life-long health. It can't hurt so I ate a ton of soup when my babes were born. So what better for the healing and breastfeeding mama than a huge pot of Ribollita, packed with veggies. I used Giada and Ina's recipes as inspiration and came up with this version. There's carrots, celery, onion, garlic, cabbage, kale, tomatoes, and beans. A fantastic soup for the Baby Mama.
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for serving
3 or 4oz good quality pancetta, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 T garlic (about 6 cloves)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 t Herbs de Provence
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes in puree
2 cups coarsely chopped Savoy cabbage
2 cups coarsely chopped Lacinato kale
1 1/2 cans cannellini beans
8 cups chicken stock
1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan rind
1 bay leaf .
3-4 cups sourdough bread (or other rustic bread), 1-2 days old, crusts removed and cubed
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Heat a small amount of oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until it’s crisp. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add more olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add chili flakes, Herbs de Provence, pepper and a pinch of salt. Add the tomatoes with their puree, breaking them apart with your hand. Add the cabbage and kale. Cook for a few minutes, then add the beans, chicken stock, cooked pancetta, Parmesan rind and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes (or longer if possible). Check seasoning during this time and add more salt and pepper if needed. Remove the parmesan rind and bay leaf. Add the bread to the soup and simmer for 10 more minutes. Ladle into large bowls and top with freshly grated parmesan. You can drizzle with olive oil if you like.