Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup

Last night was a little celebration here at the Richardson home, we hit our 2 month wedding anniversary!  Silly, we know, but it was a great night to reflect on our wedding, being happy and an excuse to cook something amazing and serve it on our wedding china= bonus!!  Jason has a little obsession with Jamie Oliver’s cookbook photography so we have a few of them.  This recipe was found in his “Jamie’s Kitchen” book, where he breaks down recipes by season, which we love. When you can cook in season, your groceries are cheaper and your food is fresher, better.  This soup packs a huge vitamin punch with swiss chard and cabbage… even though we’ve added bacon, bread and cheese ( YUM)  Jamie tends to cook very humbly, he says ” handful of this, a glob of that” it’s hard to navigate and some ingredients are just not available in most stores in the US.  Here we navigate this recipe adding in how we made it, the broth was so rich and hearty and just amazing- the flavors Jamie imparts with herbs is a serious talent.  We used the cheese we had on hand and the bread we had also… you can opt to look to the original!  This makes 8 servings, and it is filling, it could be called a casserole almost, but it has enough broth to bring it home.

 

 

Adapted from Jamie at Home

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts, 96 oz, chicken stock ( not broth)
  • 1 green cabbage, outer leaves separated, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard ( or Kale), center hard stalk removed, leaves washed
  • and roughly chopped
  • About 12 slices stale bread, we used Sara Lee Honey Wheat
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed, cut in 1/2
  • Olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped on 1″ lengths
  • 1 (4-ounce) can anchovy fillets, in oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 4 ounces romano cheese, grated
  • 3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan, plus a little for serving
  • 2 ounces white cheddar, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and add the cabbage, cavolo nero and/or kale. Cook for a few minutes until softened (you may have to do this in 2 batches). Remove the cabbage to a large bowl, leaving the stock in the pan.

Toast all but 4 of the bread slices in a toaster, then rub them on 1 side with the garlic halves right away while warm, and set aside.

Next, heat a large 4-inch-deep ovenproof casserole-type pan on the stove top, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, bacon and anchovies. When the bacon is golden brown and sizzling, add the rosemary sprigs and cooked cabbage and toss to coat the greens. Put the mixture and all the juices back into the large bowl.

Place 4 of the toasted slices in the casserole-type pan, in 1 layer. Spread over 1/2 of the cabbage leaves, sprinkle over a 1/3 of the grated cheeses and add a drizzle of olive oil. Repeat with another layer of toasted bread, cabbage mixture( pour in all the juices remaining in the bowl) and cheese.  End with a layer of the untoasted bread on top. Push down on the layers with your hands.

Pour the stock gently over the top until it just comes up to the top layer. Push down again and sprinkle over the remaining 1/3 of cheese. Add a teaspoon of pepper and drizzle over some good-quality olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for around 35 minutes, or until crispy and golden on top.

When the soup is ready, divide it between your bowls. Melt the butter in a frying pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until they’re just crisp and the butter is lightly golden (not burned!). Spoon a bit of the flavored butter and sage leaves over the soup and add another grating of Parmesan if desired.

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