1 November 2010

Ribollita and pesto

Man, I can't stop cooking from Plenty! I can't remember the last cookbook from which I not only wanted  in a vague sense to cook but actually did get around to making this many recipes. This time it's his take on ribollita, proper peasant fare, with some pesto. There must be 1,001 recipies for this.

Onion and vegetables go into the pot to soften in olive oil. The herbs are then added and everything cooked gently for a short while.

Five minutes before serving chickpeas go into the soup. Meanwhile into the magimix go basil, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper for the pesto. No nuts around but that's not a problem I feel.

Ottolenghi suggests baking the bread until crisp and then putting into the soup which seems a bit silly to me - why go to the trouble of drying it out to put it in a load of liquid? So instead I fry some long chunks of Turkish bread in olive oil and butter. Everyone gets one on top of their soup.

Delightful stuff - heartening-healthy rather than worthy-healthy in taste. I like the inclusion of fennel here but in truth you could put almost anything in the soup.


  1. Delicious! Looks absolutely perfect for the mid week gloominess that hits in this sort of weather. I will make this tomorrow!

  2. Thanks Wendy! It was nice and hearty. With the clocks going back it's essential to have some good warming food I think, especially soups and stews.

  3. Oliver.. Looks like you have started a blog!! Brilliant! So have I (http://www.theretrogusto.blogspot.com/) ! I can't stop cooking from Plenty either.. Love it!

    You must create an 'about' section. Your recipes look fab anyway, Well done! I am hitting the subscribe button now! : )

  4. Thanks Jessica, very kind, yeah I thought I'd give it a go! How did you find it? I'm always looking to bump up the subscribers, still early days though. I have likewise subscribed to yours, looks really good, I love Italian food naturally... How's things?

  5. Phwoar - that looks a bit good. I guess Ottolenghi bake their bread cubes first to get the squishy outside and crunchy innards.

    (I'd be tempted to add some pork...)

  6. Yeah I guess to get the full croûton effect going on...

    Maybe some fried lardons over the top?

  7. Hey Oliver, nice to meet another local food blogger. It took me sometime to really appreciate Plenty (loved their first book) but I can't get enough of it now. We hosted a cooking club (London Cooking Club) at my home using recipes from the two cookbooks, it was a great evening. I suggest the garlic tart from Plenty, really amazing and so easy to make. Great, will certainly be coming back for more!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  8. Hi Luiz

    Sorry for slow response. I agree on Plenty, it's great, although it didn't take me a while to get into!

    The Cooking Club thing sounds like a great idea. Thanks for checking the blog.