Autumn in Tuscany, Chestnuts, Porcini Mushrooms and Ribollita Soup

Minesstra soup

 photo above the Minestra.

I have certainly perfected my recipe for minestra!! or in English known as a minestrone.  The wonderful thing about this soup recipe is that it can be reinvented into 3 different dishes.  On day one, you make your minestra and enjoy a big bowl of vegetable and white cannellini bean soup, for dinner that night you can diversify it into a minestra di pane. Simply by ladling some of your minestrone into the base of a big deep bowl, then thinly slice your old stale bread and place it on top of the minestrone, then sprinkle some grated parmesan and continue this in layers until you use up all of your minestrone. Serve and enjoy whilst hot. 

What you cannot finish for dinner you save and reinvent the next day into a ribollita, the well known Tuscan bread soup!! Using your left over Minestra di Pane, you heat a fry pan with some extra virgin olive oil and you spoon the thick soup (it is nearly the consistency of polenta) into the pan and let it get a crust on one side and then turn it like an omlette and form a crust on the other side. Serve warm.

Autumn such a great season to be in Tuscany!!

read the next blog for the recipe for Minestra as Minestrone.

One of the reasons why I love living in Italy is because it has 4 very established seasons. From season to season the colour of the landscape changes, the temperature in the air, the length of the days and of course all the varied foods that can be enjoyed within each season. 

Now that we are in the middle of Autumn the colours of the trees are just magnificent, amber, red and yellow colours that are splendid. The mornings and evenings are fresher but the sky is still bright blue.  At night you light the fire, for warmth and company.

The beauty of the Autumn colours

     The glorious autumn food is plentiful in the mountains where we live and we thrive on gathering all that is on offer.  We have a great selection of wild mushrooms, mostly, porcini, pinoroli and the prized ovuli.    Porcini mushrooms can be used in so many ways, sautéed and served on a bruschetta or tossed through a pasta, sliced thinly and served as a salad, grilled whole to accompany your big bistecca or fritte, to enjoy as a canapé or side dish!!!    In our surrounding mountains we also have plenty of Chestnut trees and an abundance of chestnuts are falling to the ground. Our favourite way to enjoy them is to roast them over the open fire and enjoy eating them accompanied with a glass of Sangiovese wine    The autumn vegetables are ready for picking in our garden so I have an abundance of fennel, Cavolo Nero, Cime di Rape, and silver beet.    

 

The glorious autumn food is plentiful in the mountains where we live and we thrive on gathering all that is on offer.  We have a great selection of wild mushrooms, mostly, porcini, pinoroli and the prized ovuli.

Porcini mushrooms can be used in so many ways, sautéed and served on a bruschetta or tossed through a pasta, sliced thinly and served as a salad, grilled whole to accompany your big bistecca or fritte, to enjoy as a canapé or side dish!!!

In our surrounding mountains we also have plenty of Chestnut trees and an abundance of chestnuts are falling to the ground. Our favourite way to enjoy them is to roast them over the open fire and enjoy eating them accompanied with a glass of Sangiovese wine

The autumn vegetables are ready for picking in our garden so I have an abundance of fennel, Cavolo Nero, Cime di Rape, and silver beet.