When a company has been in business since 1825, they must be doing something right, right? On a search for a product to give a wow factor to my Ribolitta soup recipe, I wanted more than just the traditional olive oil drizzle. Fig Vincotto Vinegar transformed my hearty Tuscan soup from great to out of this world sensational.
Made from Negromaro and Malvasia Nera grapes from Puglia (one of my favorite Italian cities), you can use this vinegar on just about anything you can think of (well maybe not your morning oatmeal … well on second thought, hmmmm …). It will add the right dash of finishing flavor that will make your final dishes sing.
As a beautiful foil to the hearty vegetables and sweet tomato base of my Ribolitta, just drizzle on a bit when you are ready to serve the soup in warmed bowls. The combo of the traditional olive oil swirl and this vinegar adds roundness and punch to this favorite winter healthy Tuscan thick soup.
www.vincotto.com. Sold at your favorite gourmet shops.
~ RIBOLLITA ~ 6-8 servings
One of my most beloved soups, I eat it every time while in Tuscany and learned how to prepare in my American home for many years now. It’s filled with all the nutritional goodness you’d expect – from garden fresh vegetables to fiber-rich beans.
3 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp minced parsley
1 (32-ounce) can tomatoes, smashed in their own juices (use your hands)**
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup coarsely chopped green cabbage
½ cup chopped spinach
1 can (14 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
Kosher salt and pepper to taste / water to cover
1 ½ cups day old Italian bread, cut into small chunks (bread can also be 2 days old, just make sure it is really dried out)**
Finishing touch: 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp Fig Vincotto Vinegar per bowl
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the red onion, celery, carrots, garlic and parsley and saute for 5-7 minutes until golden in color.
2. Add the tomatoes, potato, zucchini, cabbage, spinach, beans, salt and pepper and enough water to cover the entire mixture. Cook over medium low heat for about 30 minutes until the soup looks a bit mushy. Add the bread, and allow the soup to cool for 20 minutes.
3. Place the soup back on the heat and cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.
4. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over each bowl.
**Chef’s note: We could not find a 32-ounce can of tomatoes at the store, so we used two 14.5-ounce cans of tomatoes. Also, keep in mind that if your bread is not dry enough, cut it into little cubes and toast it in the oven or on top of your stove in an iron skillet.
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