Lots of rain falling in Tuscany right now, but not enough to stop couples from getting married. Keep those guests warm and dry with a typical Tuscan chowder, similar to Italian Wedding Soup (trans. zuppa maritata):
Tuscan ‘reboiled’ soup
Half a cabbage
100g of swiss chard
100g peeled tomatoes
250g navy beans
1 stalk celery
fresh thyme and rosemary tied together
If the navy beans are dried, soak them the night before and cook them until tender, adding a ham hock for extra flavor. Do not discard the water.
Wash and chop up all the vegetables and in a large pot heat the olive oil and sauté the carrot, onion, leek, celery and parsley. Add the rest of the vegetables with the thyme and rosemary, add bean water and cook until tender. In the meantime puree half of the beans. When the vegetables are done, discard the thyme/rosemary tie and pass 1/3 of the vegetables through a sieve. In individual clay pots, layer the bread and vegetables like a lasagna, bake at 400 for a few minutes, serve piping hot dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and ground pepper.
wedding image by Stefano Nannucci
ribollita image courtesy of emikodavies.com