A Big Pot of Ribollita


I would by lying if I said I wasn’t glad to see the end of this month of January. I usually love the beginning of a new year. A fresh start, a laundry list of resolutions, looking forward.

But sometimes, as they say, “man plans and God laughs”. This January was a real test of my inner strength and I fear that I came up a bit short.

Regardless, there is so very much to be thankful for. My Baba made it home from the hospital and this was no small feat. After she broke her hip she had surgery to repair the three breaks, she recovered from a heart attack that she had while in the hospital, and overcame a urinary tract infection and kidney failure. Did I mention that she is 99 years old?!

Now she is back in her own home and, with a whole lot of help (thanks Mom!), she is very slowly, very steadily getting better every day. I am so inspired by her strength and by her spirit.

Not to be overly dramatic but I am feeling somewhat spent. There have been a number of sleepless nights and a nagging sense of worry over the many decisions that needed to be made. There was my regular life that just kept on going and needed daily attention as well. I am feeling quite relieved that all of the important people in my life are still here, struggling to do our best and even celebrate the small moments of joy in each day.

Happily I feel like things have turned a corner. Some great things are planned for the month of February and I am ready, very ready, to embrace them.

I haven’t posted a recipe in a while and that is partly because, in times of stress, I tend to cook many tried and true recipes that I have previously posted here on the site. But here is a great soup that I just made today for my Baba that speaks of all of the good things to come. It is simple and warming and can be made ahead (for when you need a breather) and can even be successfully frozen so that you can borrow some comfort when you don’t have time to create some from scratch.

It is ever so tempting to try to tart this soup up by adding in pancetta or by using chicken stock or a fancy artisan bread. However, this is simply not that kind of soup. I have taken the liberty of adding in a Parmesan rind that I had kicking around in the freezer but it is good to keep in mind that this is a rustic, peasant style Italian soup. Easy and cheap to make and so very satisfying to eat. A soup with soul. Much like my Baba.

I do hope that the beginning of your year has been filled with wonder and adventure and love and ease. I’m counting of February to be just that kind of month for me.

xo J

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6 Responses to A Big Pot of Ribollita

  1. I feel this soul warming soup is the beginning of good things for you, Julie. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Ginger says:

    The year is young, Julie. The lunar new year is still to come, maybe that can be your kick-start for new beginnings. In the meantime, the soup looks just perfect. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’m excited to see what February holds for you!

  3. Tracy says:

    I have that same pot and oh how I wish it was filled with your ribollita. Wishing your Baba wellness.

  4. Tracy. I remember when you first got your lovely Le Creuset! Thanks so much for your last email and I am trying to embrace your advice about being patient while learning a new language. Wish me luck! xo J

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