Ribolita with Brandade Toast

Food Main Courses Starters
Christine Stenner, sous chef at NUMBER9 in Ponteland, Newcastle upon Tyne
4 Servings
Ingredients
¼ cup extra-virgin oil, plus some for drizzling on bread
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, 1 minced & 1 whole
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1lb frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
1 can cannelloni beans, drained
3 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
Pinch fennel seeds
Pinch baby basil
4-6 ciabatta rolls, ½ cut lengthwise or 1 loaf, sliced
Parmesan, grated
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is golden brown
  2. Add the tomato paste and stir until dissolved

  3. Add tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits
  4. Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf and parmesan

  5. Bring the soup to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes

  6. Preheat the oven to 350ºC
  7. Drizzle the ciabatta with olive oil then toast in the oven for about 5 minutes or until golden brown
  8. Remove from the oven and rub the top of the ciabatta with the whole garlic clove
  9. Place the ciabatta in the serving bowl and ladle the soup over it. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve