Saturday, March 25, 2023

Ribollita, A Murder in Chianti and The Weekly Menu

This hearty dish is more of a stew than a soup.  Chock full of vegetables, white beans, kale and bread it is a one pot meal that is perfect for Meatless Monday or as a Lenten Meal.  


I was inspired to make this recipe after reading A Murder in Chianti by Camilla Tranchieri.

Murder in Chianti

My friend, Camilla of Culinary Cam, started an on line wine lover's book club that she calls Wine Down Wednesday.  This month she introduced us to a cozy mystery series by Camilla Trinchieri that consists of three books thus far.  Murder in Chianti written in 2020, The Bitter Taste of Murder written in 2021 and Murder on the Vine written last year.

All 3 novels follow retired NYPD Detective Nico Doyle who moves to Gravigna, Italy upon the death of his wife to be near her family.  Gravigna is a small town in the Chianti region of Tuscany.  Being a cozy mystery there is, of course, a murder and Nico is approached by Salvatore Perillo, the local Chief of Police, and asked to assist in the investigation.

Nico and his adopted "partner", a pup that he calls One Wag, reluctantly get involved and Nico becomes even more concerned when it appears that his in-laws have a past relationship with the victim.

The story is like every other cozy mystery and the murder is successfully solved with happiness reigning in the kingdom once again.

Nico's in law's own a restaurant that he spends time at creating recipes, cooking and generally helping any way he can.  It keeps him busy and helps him to feel connected to his recently deceased wife. Often, when he arrives, his wife's cousin, Tilde is prepping vegetables or cutting up bread for the restaurant's signature soup that contains White Beans and Kale.  

I was listening to this book as I went on my daily walks and I couldn't recall the name of the soup in the story, however a Google search for Tuscan soup with white beans and kale returned with recipes for Robolitta.  I chose the one from Bon Appetit's Bon Appetit.

Wine and Stew

Since this book is set in Chianti, it would make sense to open a bottle to have with the dinner it inspired.  I was out of Chianti.  But I did have a bottle of Sangiovese.  See all Chianti has Sangiovese however not all Sangiovese is Chianti.  To be called Chianti it must be made in the Chianti region.  

Sangiovese Wine

This wine from Saracosa is from the Piazze area of Tuscany.  It is a blend of mostly Sangiovese with a touch of Merlot.  It is made in the Governo method which is a winemaking technique in which some of the grapes are dried before fermentation.  This resulted in a full bodied, creamy, delicious wine.

I got this bottle as part of my wine shipment from the WSJ Wine Club.  I was super impressed and ordered up another 6 bottles.  At only $20 per bottle it is a steal.  This may be my new go to red......
I enjoyed this book and am currently listening to the second in the series as I go on my daily walks.  Stay tuned for that review and the recipe I get inspired to make.

I am also linking up with Foodies Read.  Make sure you stop by and see what the other Foodies are reading this month.

I have a baby shower to attend this afternoon so I will be eating there and Frank will make something for himself and the Teen.  On Tuesday, our German son Max who was our last exchange student is coming home for a visit.  I can't has been far too long.  We will be working around his schedule and inviting all those who love and miss him to come by for dinner throughout the week.  

Saturday-Baby Shower
Frank and Marissa on their own

Sunday Supper
Pot Roast with Root Vegetables
Mashed Potatoes

Meatless Monday
Wild Mushroom Flatbread

Tuesday-Max arrives 6:30 PM
Out to dinner after we get Max

Beef  Pot Pie (using leftover Pot Roast)

Thursday-Bob and Cathy for Dinner
Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Apple Crumb Pie

Fish Friday
Out for Fish Fry

Soups, Stews, Meatless, Vegetarian, Beans, Kale
Soups and Stews
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Wendy Klik


This hearty dish is more of a stew than a soup. Chock full of vegetables, white beans, kale and bread it is a one pot meal that is perfect for Meatless Monday or as a Lenten Meal.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 H & 5 M


  • 1/2 large Vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, scraped and cut into rounds
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches Tuscan Kale, stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
  • 1 small rind from Parmesan cheese wedge, plus grated cheese for sprinkling
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 loaf of Rustic Italian Bread, torn or cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (14 oz) can Cannelini Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 c. Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil for drizzling


  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over med high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and cook, stirring often until vegetables are softened but before they turn brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the tomatoes, reserving the juices for later. Add the tomatoes to the dutch oven and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans, tomato juice, parmesan rind, and vegetable broth. Season with the crushed red pepper and bring to a simmer.
  4. Once the soup is at a gentle boil, remove the rind and add the kale, a handful at a time, stirring and allowing it to wilt before adding more.
  5. Add about a third of the torn bread and cook, stirring occasionally until coated and warmed through.
  6. Remove from heat and sprinkle the remaining bread over the top of the stew/soup. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a preheated 450* for about 10-15 minutes, until hot, bubbly and the bread is toasted and browned.
  7. Ladle into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.


Adapted from a recipe found in Bon Appetit.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

21.66 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

7.07 g

Carbs (grams)

38.56 g

Fiber (grams)

7.07 g

Net carbs

31.49 g

Sugar (grams)

14.9 g

Protein (grams)

8.73 g

Sodium (milligrams)

796.37 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

0.09 mg

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