Well, folks. We’ve entered the stage in quarantine where my fridge is basically a strange combination of the remains of Costco veggies, farm box scraps, and random bits and pieces of leftovers from meals past. Sounds gross, but I promise, everything included here was not completely spoiled, although potentially past their prime.
During our meal prep session for the week, Chris suggested making a ribollita, which is a veggie soup that he grew up eating. Upon some brief research, I learned that ribollita is typically a tomato-based veggie soup that is typically served with bread or croutons. Amazingly, we are lacking in sourdough at the moment (I’m sure we’ll make a new loaf soon!), so this is a breadless version that utilized a lot of my random veggies in the fridge.
I listed the ingredients that I used because I happened to have them on hand, but feel free to sub out or go without certain items! Instead of chard you could use spinach or kale, frozen or fresh will work (or nothing at all). I used both dried beans and green beans, but you could definitely go one or the other (it’s a much faster cook time if you skip the dry beans, or use canned beans or frozen peas instead). Potatoes, pasta, or cooked rice or grains could also easily be added (I didn’t this time because I already had so many veggies in the pot). Turnips could easily be skipped (I just had them from a produce box that we never used), and cabbage, parsnips or squash could all be great players in this soup. The onions can be swapped with leeks or even that wilty bunch of scallions at the bottom of your crisper drawer. Garlic can be added too, this time I went without. Throw in any shriveling cherry tomatoes you have on hand, or use canned tomatoes for convenience like I did this time. Water can serve as a great base here as well if you’re out of chicken stock or want to save it for later. The point is, this dish is versatile, it makes a lot, and it’s a great way to clear out the fridge and repurpose any strange leftovers into a satisfying, healthy soup.
Recipe down below along with some pictures! Happy fridge cleaning and quarantining!
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 turnips, diced
- 6 mushrooms, diced
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 quart chicken stock or broth
- 1 quart of water
- 1 cup dried cranberry beans
- 1 lb of Swiss Chard, stems removed and diced, with leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. When warm, add the onions and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and turnips and continue to sauté until vegetables are slightly browned, about 5-8 minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and water, and stir to combine. If using dried beans, add these to the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 1-2 hours over medium low heat until beans are tender.
- The long cook time can be skipped if using canned beans or no beans at all. If not using dried beans, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10-20 minutes before continuing.
- Add Swiss Chard stems, stir to combine and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the greens and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add any potatoes, squash cubes, or parsnips at the same time as the Chard stems, if using.
- Add green beans, stir to combine and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Add any frozen peas or canned beans at this stage, if using.
- Spoon into bowls, top with parmesan, fresh herbs, pesto, or red chili flakes. Serve along a crusty slice of bread if you have it! Enjoy!