It's been a hectic Summer and hectic Summers are known for their poor consideration of your pocket book.    Thus, I find myself on this side of the holiday weekend, with two thoughts when it comes to food.

1.  It needs to preexist in my garden and/or pantry (preferably the mold can be cut around or out).
2. It has to at least feel healthy and sustaining.  If I see another cold cut tray or breakfast pastry, I'm going to turn into a giant kolache. 

I've been gone for most of the month (on and off) and consequently had to ward off a cloud of fruit flies, and battle a bag of rotten potatoes before I unearthed a beautiful and entirely unexpected loaf of sourdough that I have no recollection of buying.   Fortunately it had not gone bad, unfortunately you could probably render a rabid rottweiler unconscious with a swift smack of my sourdough baseball bat.  
I set it on the counter with the rest of my garden plunder.  Zucchini, tomatoes, swiss chard, handfuls of herbs, a (non-fruit-fly-infested) bag of potatoes, and some other assorted veggies that hadn't succumbed to wiltiness in the fridge.

It turns out, if you google "what to do with vegetables and day old bread" you get...


It sounds magical!  And it gets even better when you read about it.  Italian food dating back to the Middle Ages, eaten by peasants and travelers, it's basically a hearty soup poured over crusty bread.

Soup! Peasants! Hobbits!  This is Lord Of The Rings food come to life.    How I, the-great-lover-of-soup did not know about this until now is mortifyingly humiliating.    Of all the times I drooled over the food in A Wise Man's Fear, or Once A Princess, wishing I could pop through the pages and partake along with the characters, there was something equally good in real life with the tantalizing name of Ribollita.

I'm so enchanted with the name, flavors, history...everything.  I almost feel like propping my feet up and telling a Canterbury Tale.   ....almost.  Instead I'll share a few of the best looking recipes. 

Ribollita with herb pesto

Tuscan Ribollita Soup

Real Simple's Ribollita


I basically threw everything from the garden in it and called it done.  We loved it.  I could eat it for every meal.  If you've always known about this dish and never told me about it...shame on you.  
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