Ciambotta is one of my favourite Italian soups, a delicious stew which encourages the cook to include whatever you’ve got on hand. I’ve taken this soup a step further with a couple of fast-tracked ingredients so that the prep for this can be sorted quicker than you can choose your next Netflix series. Ready set go right?
And if you happen to be a speed guru at choosing your next Netflix episode, this quick-to-assemble soup will then soothingly encourage you to pour a glass of vino, take a big whiff of the enticing kitchen aromas and let your heartbeat settle down to a slow and cruisy style. I was tempted to name this Timeout Zuppa, as the Nonnas must have known about the calming effects of this cooking style centuries ago. Go with it and it will subtly guide you to slow down, relax and return to that sweet spot of simple mindfulness.
You’re likely to be happily distracted by the delicious flavours that come together in this bowl of goodness. However it’s also good to know that this soup includes some of the key phytonutrients and compounds that we’re looking for to really up-level our health and wellbeing. Dark leafy greens for our gut-brain axis, a variety of coloured vegetables for a wealth of vitamins and minerals, collagen for our digestive tract, prebiotics to feed our good microbiome and so the list goes on. This is good food people!
A meal that feeds the bod as well as the soul – just how we like to roll.
Italian Vegetable Soup
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 3 tablespoons
2 brown onions, cut into large dice
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
2 carrots, cut into large dice
2 bay leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red capsicum, roughly chopped
1 bunch cavolo nero, leaves only, cut into medium slices
4 heaped teaspoons grass-fed bone broth or stock concentrate
1 litre water, heated
4 thyme sprigs, leaves only
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 can kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- In a large casserole dish, heat the olive oil. Once warm, add the onions, celery, carrots and bay leaves. Stir.
- Place the lid on and cook gently for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the tomatoes, capsicum and cavolo nero and gently combine.
- In a separate jug, add beef stock concentrate to 1 litre of hot water. Whisk together and pour contents of jug into casserole dish.
- Bring to boil then continue to cook over medium-low heat for another ten minutes.
- Add beans to pot, along with thyme leaves and chilli flakes. Stir. Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper if required.
- Continue to cook over medium-low heat for another ten minutes.
- Serve into bowls, pass the parmegiano or olive oil and enjoy.
This can be made with any stock of your choosing – homemade stock, chicken, vegetable, etc. I am a big fan of the Meadow & Marrow Bone Broth Concentrates, providing lots of goodness with very little time.
Dried beans are a great option, being soaked overnight and cooked for an hour before adding to the soup. I only opt for the canned variety (look for BPA-free cans whenever possible) to keep things speedy.
Keen for some bread to mop up the last morsels? How about tossing an A-Z bread in the oven at the same time? Good combo.