Right now is the perfect time of year for making Giambotta – it’s the end of the fall harvest, and there are tons of root vegetables to be had, along with other late-season veggies.
This Italian veggie stew is most traditionally made at the end of the summer, but you can really make it any time of year (if you’re not a purist when it comes to Italian cuisine).
No matter when you make it, Giambotta is a fantastic way to use up the veggies in your fridge and bump up your nutrient intake. =)
Here’s how I make it:
First into the soup pot go the hardest veggies and the aromatics: the carrots, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, celery, green onions, radishes and celery root. I also season with salt, pepper, and woody herbs (mostly thyme for this soup).
When those are softened, I add in the cabbage:
Next the cauliflower and the peppers:
Side note — while the veggies are going in the soup pot, I make a veggie stock in a stock pot alongside. This is how I get all of the last bits of flavor out of the veggie scraps. I always add dried herbs here, and this time I added a pinch of saffron, as well.
When the veggies are all softened and beginning to caramelize (make sure you’re stirring very often), deglaze the pot with sherry vinegar, then strain the stock right into the soup pot.
Next I add the fresh tomatoes and the green beans (snapped into bite-sized pieces):
The last of the veggies to go in at this stage are the greens. I used Happy-Rich greens (which are a kale-broccoli cross), but you could use chard or kale here, or even broccoli rabe. This is also the time to add any soft green herbs, like fresh parsley or savory.
I stir it all up and let the stock gently come to a boil around the veggies.
Then I add in the soft bites of zucchini and the quartered small potatoes:
Then I let it boil away gently and wait for the veggies to cook through. I check for seasoning 3-5 times while the stew is cooking away, and adjust if necessary. If the stock level gets too low, I add in a cup of water and let it continue to cook.
When the seasoning is right and the soup has changed color a bit, I check the potatoes, cauliflower and green beans for doneness (we want tender, not mushy) and turn off the flame.
Here’s what it looks like when its all done:
To serve it up, I ladle it into a nice big bowl and serve it with crusty bread.