Sarah’s Ribollita – A One Pot, Pre-Race Wonder

We interviewed Sarah Lavender Smith in 2012, right after she finished the Grand to Grand Ultra. She blogs at The Runner’s Trip (you see her links on the Daily News all the time) and was kind enough to share this recipe with us. Yum!

Ribollita: a one-pot pre-race wonder

Italian for “reboiled,” this is a thick and hearty soup made from leftovers. You can toss in whatever you like, including meat such as chicken or sausage, to the recipe below — or, make it vegan by using veggie stock and omitting the optional cheese. I like this pre-race because it’s packed with healthy carbs, protein, healthy fats, other nutrients and fiber.  I clipped this recipe years ago from “The Athlete’s Palate” column that Runner’s World used to run, and I modify it in two ways: instead of using Yukon gold potatoes, I used cubed baked sweet potato, and instead of Italian white bread, I use a grainy whole wheat bread (my favorite: an artisan bread made in MIll Valley called Judy’s Breadsticks). It tastes best if you make this a day ahead and let it sit in the fridge, then reheat.



2 cups cannellini or any white bean, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 large onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 large Yukon gold potato, diced (or sweet potato. Note: if using sweet potato, bake in foil at 400 for about 45 min ahead of time to soften)

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 bunch kale, chopped

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable if vegetarian)

3 slices day-old, crusty white Italian-style country bread (or whole wheat; see note above)

salt and pepper to taste

Grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (optional)

Additional olive oil (optional)



Mash one cup of the cannellini beans in a bowl with the back of a fork until smooth. Set aside. Gently cook garlic, rosemary, onions, celery, carrot and kale in olive oil for about 20 minutes in a heavy-bottomed soup pot, stirring occasionally. Add both mashed and whole cannellini beans, chicken stock, potato and tomatoes. Simmer gently for at least an hour. Then add bread in torn-up pieces and simmer until it’s completely dissolved. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Serve drizzled with additional olive oil and grated parmesan cheese if desired. Makes 4 generous servings.

Nutritional info (when prepared without optional modifications and additions): Calories per serving 580; carbs 61g; protein 14g; fat 31g


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