Before I get started on our Spanish menu for tonight, I had to share this recipe for Tomato and Bread Soup with Swiss Chard that I made last night. This recipe is the definition of rustic; consisting of barely 7 ingredients, it is simple to make and will warm your heart and your kitchen. And it is SO delicious.
I read about “Acquacotta Dei Boscaioli”, or Woodsman Soup, in the delightful cookbook, A Tuscan in the Kitchen. It comes from the region of Maremma, Tuscany’s wild and sparsely populated western coast, dense with forests, vineyards and olive groves. A Tuscan in the Kitchen is the type of cookbook that describes the process and ingredients, without stringent measurements. If you’ve ever watched Lidia Bastianich cook, you will recognize this truly Italian approach. This is a recipe you can make by feel and taste, but I will include the measurements that worked for me.
This evening, we are shifting gears for a night of Spanish tapas to ring in the new year. Look out for photos and recipes. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2010!!
2 dinner servings plus leftovers
3 tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 28-oz can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch Swiss, Red, or Rainbow Chard, well cleaned, thick stems removed,coarsely chopped
fresh or stale Italian bread, sliced thin on a diagonal
Salt and fresh pepper
shaved parmesan cheese
1. In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add chard and season with salt and pepper. Stirring constantly, let chard wilt, about 4 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and broth to cover. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer 45 minutes.
3. Place slices of bread in bowls and pour soup over. Top with olive oil and shaved Parmesan.