, Gloucester, MA


October 17, 2012

Slow cooker recipes: Ribollita, applesauce

In the past couple of weeks, I have received a few requests for some meals that can be made in a slow cooker. Slow cookers are often called by one maker’s name — Crock-Pot— because they have crockery inserts.

Here I have given you a hearty soup that is colorful and fresh-tasting. In Italy this is known as Ribollita, and is almost a staple in many Italian homes.

I love making soups in a slow cooker due to the low heat and long period of cooking time. Ingredients get to blend together and every bit of flavor comes out of whatever you are making.

We all like the convenience of starting our meal in the morning, going about our day, and when ready to put the evening meal on, it’s cooked, and usually has the house smelling delightful.

You can make some good desserts in your slow cooker as well; I have seen bread pudding done and some delicious curried almonds. I offer this recipe for applesauce made in a slow cooker .

For me, my Crock-Pot has gone from a convenience to a treasured kitchen necessity, year-round.

You will find yourself making this soup often this winter; no browning, just throw everything in the Crock-Pot.

Italian Bread Soup

Serves 4 or 5

Equipment: 4 quart slow cooker


1/2 large onion

1 large carrot

2 ribs celery

2 cloves garlic

1/2 pound dried navy beans (about 1 1/4 cups)

2 quarts vegetable stock or water

1 bay leaf

1 sprig dried or fresh rosemary

1 large head escarole, stemmed and chopped coarsely (may substitute kale or spinach)

2 thick slices (day old) crusty Italian bread (ciabatta or panella good), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and chopped

salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarsely chop onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and place in slow cooker. Add beans, stock, bay leaf, and rosemary and cook, covered, on low setting for 5 hours, until the beans are tender. Add escarole, bread cubes, tomatoes, and parsley, and stir gently to mix greens into liquid. Cover the cooker, put on high setting, and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until greens aretender and soup hot.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Your news, your way
Pictures of the Week
Comments Tracker
AP Entertainment Videos
Adam Levine Launches Clothing Line for Women Paul Wesley Sinks His Teeth Into Directing Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Josh Thompson Streams Album to Hook New Fans Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast ShowBiz Minute: Singer, Young, Poehler Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Nas Movie Opens Tribeca Film Festival Zooey Deschanel Adds Designing to Her Repertoire Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Hits the Big Screen Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Swift's Bus Drives Into Country Hall of Fame ShowBiz Minute: Cyrus, Walker, Combs Pedro Pascal Plays 'Game of Thrones'' Red Viper Deeley Shows Acting Chops in Hulu's 'Deadbeat' Ora Strips Efron at MTV Awards ShowBiz Minute: MTV Awards, Lopez, Royals Stars Hit Red Carpet for MTV Movie Awards Conan Backs Colbert, Hosts MTV Movie Awards