It’s not often cold here, really cold anyway, and we’ve had a bit of a cold snap come through, so this was the perfect time to work on this month’s Blogger C.L.U.E. theme– soups & stews. Who doesn’t love a good belly warming bowl of comforting soup?
I was assigned to Authentic Suburban Gourmet and went right to “work” looking for a scrumptious soup to dish up. I didn’t stew over it for long (see what I did there) as I quickly came across Perfect Italian Soup, and it had my name written all over it. At this time of year I really crave a nice bowl of ribollita which makes me fondly remember my time living in Florence, Italy. Ribollita is a rustic soup made with vegetables, and bread- it translates to reboiled, as it’s a peasants soup that dates back centuries. It is classically Tuscan and perfectly delizioso. Ribollita, GOOD ribollita, is really hard to find here, but I’m always up for something with an Italian flair, and although this is a different kind of soup, it’s a great recipe to have on hand when the temperatures drop. So here’s my take on Lisa’s Italian Soup.
Lisa has oodles of deliciousness on her blog, like these Spicy Oyster Crackers, Orange Pecan Cookies, and Bourbon Apricot Meatballs. Although I found something rather quickly, I really enjoyed looking through her blog and reading how much she loves her pups.
This Italian Soup is the perfect choice for the theme and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it. It’s simple, warming and don’t forget, buonissimo.
Lisa’s soup looked awesome but, I altered the recipe ever so slightly. Just a dash more here, a little extra there…and I added cannelini beans and a couple of bay leaves.
- 8 Cups Chicken Stock
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Potato (peeled and cut into very small cubes)
- 2 Carrots, peeled and shredded (or small dice)
- 2 Celery Stalks, small dice
- ½ Cup Pearl Barley
- ½ Cup Pastina or Stellina Pasta
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Can ( 15 oz.) Tomato Sauce
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Can ( 15 oz.) Drained Cannelini Beans
- Parmesan Cheese for garnish when serving
- In a large stock pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the vegetables, barley, Pastina and garlic powder. Let cook on medium for about 30 minutes, and then add the tomato sauce and salt and pepper. Let simmer for another 20 minutes, then add beans and cook for 10 more minutes. Gently stir after the beans as they break easily and you want to keep them in tact.
- Serve with parmesan cheese and warm buttered italian bread for dipping.
- If the soup gets too thick, just add a half cup of water at a time until you get the consistency you are looking for.
- You can also add a bit more water when you go to heat it up, just to make sure it doesn't lose the broth to the potatoes, pasta and barley.
For my version of the recipe, I shredded my carrots. You may be wondering, why? Well, I feel for carrots as I do for cooked apples. We don’t get along. I know it might sound odd, but there is something about the consistency change that really turns me off, yet I love the flavor. So, my compromise, instead of chopping is to use the microplane- and it’s a great way to get the flavor in the soup. They virtually melt into the broth so no need to squishily chew a bite.
This would be an easy soup to make vegan and vegetarian. I’m sure it would be just as savory with vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
Looking for other super soups and stews to warm you up, spoon your way through the other CLUE posts…
- Caldo de Mariscos – Mexican Seafood Soup by Sue from A Palatable Pastime
- Cheddar Cheese Soup by Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
- Chicken Asado by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Classic French Onion Soup by Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Creamy Ham Swiss Potato Soup by Amy from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Egg Drop Soup by Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Egg Drop Soup by Rebekah from Making Miracles
- Ginger Lemon Chicken Soup by Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
- Italian Soup by Anna from annaDishes
- Mini Ham and Cheese Pepper Frittatas by Karen from Lavender and Lovage
- New York Strip Steaks with Cognac Creamed Mushrooms by Christiane from Taking on Magazines
- Okie Peasant Potato Soup by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
- Potato and Ham Chowder by Kate from Kate’s Kitchen
- Roasted Red Pepper Soup by Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
- Roasted Squash and Apple Soup by Jean from Lemons and Anchovies
- Rustic Tortellini Soup by Debra from Eliot’s Eats
- Simple Cheese Soup by Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Veggie Chili by Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Karen from Lavender and Lovage