Loving my weekends...
I had a really lovely weekend, actually. For most people, getting up at 7:30 on a Saturday isn't ideal, but I was doing it for a good cause: art.
My friends and I spent a good 3 hours working on ceramics together; something so rewarding and relaxing, it's difficult to describe.
The feeling of clay on your hands, of a grey mass slowly coming together into something reflecting your idea, your imagination, your creation. Of course, having hilarious and lovely people there with you makes it all the more enjoyable.
I came out of the art room with the same feeling as I did after our morning at the Bedouin market in France this summer.
I think I was meant to spend my weekend mornings making stuff, shopping at markets or cycling.
My family and I went out to lunch afterwards, to the Sundance Cafe an old place that's been recently renovated and looks gorgeous (I'll write a review on it soon).
We spent a lovely hour (waiting for our food...) talking about time, growing up, the year ahead and the year past, projects, friends, things that are always on our minds but that we rarely sit down and talk about.
On Sunday I went for my much-awaited bike ride with my dad-- the last time we went cycling we almost got stuck in the rain, and I made my dad promise that we would go as soon as the monsoons were over... that was before our trip to France.
We went all the way from our house at Nariman Point, up and down Malabar Hill and back. It was exhausting, but so absolutely worth it; it was like our bike ride in Provence... kind of.
And for lunch I made something I've wanted to try for a while: a Tuscan soup we saw on Masterchef once, called Ribollita. It's full of delicious vegetables, and is so simplistic. No fancy ingredients, no tricky techniques. You just chop up the stuff and leave it to cook in the pot.
We had some delicious focaccia, which I used as the bread base (the concept it that you place a chunk of Italian bread in the bowl and top it with the soup, letting the whole thing soften and blend).
Even my sister, who would really never touch leeks or carrots, loved it and finished first-- she came out of her room just now and gushed "Ohhh that was so good!" when she saw the photos of the dish on my blog.
This soup is warm, healthy, versatile--thick (or thin, if you want it to be), comforting and relaxing... like a good weekend should be.
By Victoria Blashford-Snell & Brigitte Hafner
I didn't have spinach at the time, so I substituted some broccoli, and it came out nicely too.
This soup, ribollita, is thick, filling, nutritious, and delicious. It is even wonderful at room temperature. Good with a dollop of pesto placed on top and olive oil passed on the side.
Yield : 8 servings
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 1 hr 20 mins
1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, and leek and cook until softened but not colored. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, tomatoes and their juices, and tomato paste.
2. In a bowl, mash half the beans with a fork and stir into the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Return the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the remaining beans and spinach and simmer for 30 minutes more.
4. Place a slice of bread in each soup bowl. Ladle in the soup, and, if you like, top with a sprinkling of Parmesan.
This soup is best made ahead and reheated.