Jamie Oliver's Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup

By Genius Recipes
March 1, 2017
14 Comments


Author Notes: Adapted slightly from Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life (Hachette, 2008).Genius Recipes

Serves: 8
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hrs

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts good-quality chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Savoy cabbage, stalks removed, outer leaves separated, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 big handfuls cavolo nero and/or kale, stalks removed, leaves washed and roughly chopped
  • 16 slices stale country-style or sourdough bread
  • 1 clove garlic, unpeeled, cut in 1/2
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 14 slices pancetta or bacon
  • 1 (4-ounce) can (or two 2-ounce cans) anchovy fillets in oil, about 20-25 anchovy fillets
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 7 ounces fontina cheese, grated
  • 5 ounces freshly grated Parmesan, plus a little for serving
  • 1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large knobs butter
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and add the cabbage, cavolo nero and/or kale. Cook for a few minutes until softened (you may have to do this in 2 batches). Remove the cabbage to a large bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon, leaving the stock in the pan.
  3. Toast all but 5 of the bread slices on a hot griddle pan or in a toaster, then rub them on 1 side with the garlic halves, and set aside.
  4. Next, heat a large 4-inch-deep ovenproof casserole-type pan or Dutch oven on the stove top, pour in a couple of glugs of olive oil and add your pancetta and anchovies. When the pancetta is golden brown and sizzling, add the rosemary and cooked cabbage and toss to coat the greens in all the lovely flavors. Put the mixture and all the juices back into the large bowl.
  5. Place 4 of the toasted slices in the casserole-type pan, in 1 layer. Spread over 1/3 of the cabbage leaves, sprinkle over a 1/4 of the grated fontina and Parmesan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Repeat this twice, but don't stress if your pan's only big enough to take two layers—that's fine. Just pour in all the juices remaining in the bowl and end with a layer of untoasted bread on top. Push down on the layers with your hands.
  6. Pour the stock gently over the top until it just comes up to the top layer. Push down again and sprinkle over the remaining fontina and Parmesan. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle over some good-quality olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until crispy and golden on top.
  7. When the soup is ready, taste the broth. If it has gotten a bit salty from the anchovies and cheese, add a little water till it tastes delicious to you. Divide it between your bowls. Melt the butter in a frying pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until they're just crisp and the butter is lightly golden (not burned!). Spoon a bit of the flavored butter and sage leaves over the soup and add another grating of Parmesan. Such a great combo!

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Reviews (14) Questions (0)

14 Comments

Jusika April 12, 2018
would a vegetarian version taste good or would the soup not be worth it minus the anchovies?
 
linzarella December 12, 2017
Best instructions for reheating? Just back in the oven at 350?
 
Kristen M. December 12, 2017
I've reheated it mostly in the microwave just for expediency, splashing in a little more water first, since some of the broth's inevitably been drunk up. But I've also done the low and slow oven thing at around 300F, covered, and it's worked (might also need a splash of water if it looks dry).
 
linzarella December 11, 2017
Would this be just as good with regular green cabbage instead of savoy? That's all they had at Whole Foods!
 
Kristen M. December 11, 2017
Yes, in fact I have some in my fridge with regular old bodega cabbage RIGHT NOW.
 
linzarella December 11, 2017
Oh my god I'm so glad I didn't let having the wrong kind of cabbage stop me. This was freaking amazing! My only regret is that I halved the recipe. Anyone reading this, please don't make the same mistake!
 
mjhaden November 8, 2017
Would this taste as good without the anchovies?
 
Kristen M. November 8, 2017
No, I'm afraid not (I've tried!), or at least without compensating with other flavorful ingredients. They're a big reason why it's so delicious—but you don't taste them as anchovies, just a deeper, meatier umami flavor.
 
samanthaalison March 25, 2017
THIS WAS AWESOME. I'm not sure I'd really call it a soup - it was like halfway between soup and bread pudding? But the flavor is so good. Can't wait to eat the leftovers. I thought my 7.25 qt dutch oven would be too big, but it was almost completely full. The sage is delicious but not essential if you don't have it around.
 
Sarah P. March 6, 2017
Any suggestions for substitutions for those of us who do not eat bacon?
 
Kristen M. March 6, 2017
Adding my comment here too, so others can see! There's so much great flavor in this soup, I actually don't think you'll miss it (I did a pretty bare bones riff recently and didn't), but if you wanted to add a little smoked paprika, it would probably fit in nicely.
 
Miachel B. March 10, 2017
Good thinking! A little bit of tomato paste might be good too for depth of flavor in place of pancetta.
 
Patricia H. March 5, 2017
Drain anchovies of their oil? Knob of butter = 1 oz? Ah, specificity - a vanishing art, I fear.
 
From T. March 10, 2017
Jamie's recipes are general by nature. Cooking is an art, not a science. Liberality encouraged.