Soup is good food, and at Enoteca Properzio they serve 3 different soups each day; ribolitta, legume and farro. Everyone that comes through loves the legume soup, a combination of beans, along with barley and some vegetables, cooked until the beans are tender, and the barley has thickened the soup. Visitors ask for the recipe, and although it’s a secret, I think I’ve hit upon a good clone for the American kitchen.
A few notes: using organic dried beans will make this a very special soup, since the beans the Enoteca uses are from an organic farm just outside the walls of Spello. Also using organic vegetables will give the soup more flavor. Pure extra virgin olive oil (the first press) gets the layers of flavor going, to give you a great base from which to build flavor.
Zuppa Di Legumi
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped using the leaves
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in cold water, rinsed and drained
1 cup small white beans, soaked overnight in cold water, rinsed and drained
1 cup cranberry beans, soaked overnight in cold water, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed in cold water
8 cups water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil for serving
- In a 6 quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat, and sauté the onion, carrot, celery, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the tomatoes, and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes, until the tomatoes cook down.
- Add the beans, barley, and water or broth.
- Bring to a boil, and simmer, covered for 2 hours.
- At the end of the two hours, remove about 2 cups of the beans to a blender, or food processor, and puree.
- Return to the soup, taste for seasoning and adjust using salt and pepper.
- Serve each bowl, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, and more freshly ground black pepper.
Dr. C. and I are in Portofino on the Italian Riviera; we are touring the Cinque Terre tomorrow, then thinking about driving to Monaco for lunch on Monday---Genoa on Tuesday. Wishing you a buona notte from Portofino.