14 Nov 2012

What’s at Your Thanksgiving Table? Acqua Al 2 Chef Ari Gejdenson Shares a Recipe for Tuscan Soup

In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, The Hill is Home asked a few Capitol Hill chefs to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipe, giving you another option at this year’s table. Do you have a favorite food staple at your Thanksgiving meal? If so, share it with us at TheHillisHome@gmail.com. 

Photo by Flickr user tuscanycious

Chef Ari Gejdenson knows a thing or two about Italian cooking. As the executive chef of Acqua Al 2, he has brought a taste of Italy to Eastern Market. And now you can bring that flavor to your Thanksgiving table.

We asked Ari what he would be cooking this Thanksgiving, and he gave us a recipe for Ribollita, a classic Tuscan soup served best in the fall and winter months.

The recipe uses fresh ingredients, including cannellini beans, collard greens, cabbage and potatoes, as well as some day-old bread to soak-up the flavor. The result is a hearty bowl of soup, likely to keep you and your family warm and filled this Thanksgiving.

This recipe serves 5-6 people.

15 oz. day-old bread, no preservatives
15 oz. dried cannellini beans
25 oz. Savoy cabbage
15 oz. Dino cabbage
10 oz. Collard greens
2 medium sized potatoes
Thyme, preferably wild
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
3 oz. of canned tomatoes (pelati or tomato paste)
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and pepper
Vegetable broth

Soak cannellini beans overnight. Cook in two liters of water and separate one third of the beans to set aside and save for the broth. Puree the remaining beans.

Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat. Season with thyme. Cube carrots and celery, then sauté. Combine with the onion and garlic, and add potatoes, cut in half inch cubes. Cook for five minutes on low heat all together.

In a large saucepan combine the stock from the cannellini and the vegetables. Boil for five minutes and add the canned tomatoes diluted with water and the pureed beans.

Simmer on low heat for around one hour or until desired consistency with adding salt, as needed, and vegetable broth, if needed. At last, add the whole beans. Tear the bread, add, and cook for five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit overnight. Reheat by boiling for five minutes before serving.

Ribollita is served traditionally warm without adding parmigiano or any kind of cheese. But you can drizzle some extra virgin Tuscan olive oil and fresh coursed pepper for flavor.

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