I’ve always favoured simple and rustic food over fine dining and this bean and bread soup captures everything I love about cooking. There is nothing cosier than a big pot of Ribollita bubbling away on the stove, ready in time for an intimate and easy supper at home. This recipe is fantastic for using up leftover vegetables and stale bread. Traditionally a vegetable soup, Gino Di’acampo inspired me to add Italian pork sausage, and I must say the extra indulgence is always welcome.
6 Italian pork sausages
2 tbps olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 red onion, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 celery sticks, diced
1 potato, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
60ml dry white wine
2 large plum tomatoes, diced
1 X 400g tin of plum tomatoes
400g tin of cannellini beans
1 litre vegetable stock
4 slices of country style bread
Heat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Place the sausages on an oven tray and cook for about 25 minutes.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy bottomed casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the Onion, shallots, garlic, carrots, celery, potato, bay leaf and chilli flakes. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure the vegetables don’t brown. Add the white wine and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add both the chopped and tinned tomatoes to the vegetables and bring to a simmer.
Tear the bread into pieces and cover with 200ml of the vegetable stock, waiting for the chunks of bread to absorb the liquid. This should only take a couple of minutes.
Add the remaining stock to the vegetables, followed by the cannellini bean, soaked bread and cavelo nero. Let the soup simmer for roughly 20 minutes. Slice the sausages and add to the soup.
Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil.