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Monday, June 13, 2011

Zuppa Bastarda



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I know! I know! A person more high-minded than myself would have called this dish Zuppa Lombardi. I'm using its alternate name because it better expresses my humor at the end of this long and difficult week. Both computers have been scrubbed and are back in working order, but it took a full week, a team of techies and considerable coin to get them there. The virus was traced to a scam originating in Russia. It was detected by our internet provider, but notification came too late to do us any good. So, be forewarned and vigilant. Not everyone out there has your best interests at heart. Treasure your back-ups, make sure they are current and you'll spare yourself a world of grief should this gift from the East come your way.

I've come to love the word bastarda. It says nothing and it says it all. It also reminds me of an admonition from my father. When I completed university, he tucked a wallet-size insert into my graduation card. It said, "Don't let the bastards grind you down." On the back of it he had written his testament to my stubborn spirit, "They'll try, but the world is yours. They'll wear out before you wear down." I suspect he was very tired at the time he wrote that.

Zuppa Bastarda is a bean soup that has some history attached to it. There are two stories told of its origins. One, insists the soup was the creation of black shirted fascists in Mussolini's Italy. Their version of the soup was made with black beans, some say to reflect the darkness of their hearts. Another group insists the soup comes from Brescia, a city in Lombardi. They trace the soup back to 1740 and insist it should be made with white beans. They believe the first zuppa bastarda was the creation of a frugal peasant who, needing to feed her family, used the cooking liquid from white beans to soak stale Tuscan bread that she served as a soup to fill their hungry bellies. Interestingly, both recipes for the soup are nearly identical. The main ingredients are dry beans, stale bread and olive oil, and, surprisingly, the soup is not half bad. If you like hearty bean soups, I think you'll love this one. The recipe can also be adapted for use in a crock-pot. The crock-pot recipe can be found here. Here's how it's made stovetop.

Zuppa Bastarda
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
1 pound dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
1 large white onion, chopped
3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage leaves + 5 whole fresh sage leaves, separated
Salt
8 slices stale or toasted Italian bread, rubbed with 1 large garlic clove
8 teaspoons Extra virgin olive oil
Shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1) Drain soaked beans and place in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and cover with 4 inches of fresh water. Add onion, sage leaves and garlic. Cover and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes or until beans are tender. Soup will be thick. Add salt, to taste.
2) Place bread in bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Pour a ladleful of soup over bread. Dust with freshly ground black pepper and chopped sage and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with cheese. Serve hot. Yield: 8 servings.








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White Bean and Vegetable Soup - Eat Good 4 Life
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Tuscan and White Bean Soup - Cookery and Wivery
Three Bean Soup with Ham - OurLife in Food
Pinto Bean Soup - Eating Out Loud
Black Bean Soup - Simply Recipes
Tuscan Bean Soup - One Perfect Bite

73 comments :

Foodness Gracious said...

Love the story and sorry about the computers :(

Mandy said...

Hi Mary, how are you?
I loved the story about "bastarda", it reminded me of something which I thought I'd long forgotten. Thanks.

About the Zuppa Bastarda, well, I can't say anything now till I successfully stop my mouth from salivating, again.....

yummychunklet said...

Great recipe! And glad to see you back with working computers!

manu said...

OMG I'm Italian and I've never heard this story!!! My compliments for all the historical references!!LOL

tandysinclair.com said...

I am not a huge fan of beans sadly! Glad you are back in the land of blog - have a beautiful week Mary :)

The Harried Cook said...

Glad your computers are back! This dish looks fantastic! :) Loved reading the story behind the bastarda... Thanks for sharing, Mary!

Au and Target said...

Great Bastarda story. And the dish looks good too.

thecompletecookbook said...

Hi Mary, so pleased your computers are all sorted out and that you are back up and running.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story about "bastarda".
:-) Mandy

Sunanda said...

Dish looks sooo yummy dear..
Sunanda's Kitchen

Hovkonditorn said...

Glad your back! The soup sounds delicious!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

Fun post! So glad Hal is all better!

Elin said...

Mary...thanks for sharing the story and this soup is mouth watering. I have cannellini beans and I am going to try your recipe . I was thinking of making some salad with it :) Thanks and have a nice day,
Elin

penny aka jeroxie said...

beautiful story and glad you are back in business.

Alessandra said...

Sorry about the Russian virus, but loved to read about your Father (ha must have been quite a character!). And love the name of the soup too!

Have a good week

ciao
Alessanddra

Ana Rita said...

That photo is so tempting Mary!!
So sorry about the computer, but is the internet is as good as bad!!

Kisses,
Rita

Umm Mymoonah said...

Wow! it's good to know about the history of the recipe too, looks truly delicious

From the Kitchen said...

Yes, stay with "bastarda"! A non-functioning computer is a bit like being cut off from the world. I need a "nerd on call" myself just in case.

Best,
Bonnie

StephenC said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I love your story telling. It's a little hot here for soup just now, but that doesn't take away from the excellence of the recipe.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Sounds like this "soup with attitude" was an appropriate menu item for you this week! Glad to know you're standing strong.

highplainsdrifters said...

Add some smoked paprika and you have Jose Andres' Moorish stew, more or less.

Hmmm ... wonder why the name is in the feminine form? Makes sense if the second story is the real origin.

I love etymology ... but don't pay close enough attention to actually learn anything!

laurie said...

this is wonderful,, I'm giving this soup a go for sure,,great story as well,

Melynda said...

I am fairly certain I have only been lucky so far, that and I have a techie as a son in law! Your Zuppa Bastarda looks delicious, and should ward off any personal virus!

Karen Harris said...

I love your dad's inscription, little did he know that those computers bastards would try and grind you down and they are a formidable group. Congrats on coming out on top. Love the soup!

Jenn said...

Definitely love the name :) Sounds delicious, wish I had some to take for lunch today!!
Sorry to hear of the computer virus, but glad you are back up and running again!

Cooking Creation said...

I'm so happy your computers are back up! This soup sounds yummy!

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Glad your computers are back! The soup looks fantastic. Enjoyed the story behind the recipe.

PeggyR said...

This sounds delicious!

Pegasuslegend said...

Sorry about the computer and glad your back on track... this recipe is fabulous~

Cathy said...

Sorry to read about your computer problems, Mary. I hope all is back in good working order. I love that saying. It's written in Latin on the bib of my Wives with Knives aprons.

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

this soup sounds absolutely up my alley! SO delicious - thanks for another wonderful recipe
Mary x

Linda Starr said...

The name is a hoot, welcome back.

Clint said...

My dad used the same expression---"Bastardi non carborundum".

Guvi said...

Very nice story, Mary, and I am happy to see your computer is up an running. Welcome back!

Nathalia said...

Hola Mary: Siento lo que pasó con el virus, es muy desagradable, yo también lo he vivido. Pero es bueno que ya esté todo arreglado.
La receta de la sopa es muy buena, a mi me encanta.
Un abrazo

Katrina (Betty Ray) said...

Well Mary, the name alone drew me in. But it does look yummy.

CkretsGalore said...

Sold! I make a lot of soups with beans since I don't eat a lot of meat and I bring them up North with me to work. Beans just stick to your ribs more than just a straight up veggie soup.

I like how simple this is and thank you for the info on the history.

Good to hear your virus issues are done and over with. I take it for granted now that my Fiancee is an IT guy. Getting my laptop rebuilt just cost hugs n' kisses oh and a nice meal of course.

Barbara said...

What a warming, comforting soup, Mary. The origin of frugal woman makes perfect sense. Some of our best recipes come that way.
And I do love your father's good advice...he was right, even if you did think he was tired.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Glad the computers are up and running again, yep not a cheap job when things go wrong!! I am usually good about backing up but your reminder was worth having this time.
Love the story and the soup sounds delish. Take care Diane

Joanne said...

I'm sorry the name of the soup is symbolic of your week...but at least the soup looks incredibly delicious! Rumor has it that I'm getting sage in my first CSA and I think I'm going to have to make this to use it up!

That Girl said...

Looks amazing!

Cheryl said...

YUM, we adore beans and soup, this sound simple and delicious!

Jamie said...

What I love about Italian cooking is the taking of such simple, humble, poor man's ingredients and turning it into something so good, delicious and warming and this fabulous soup is a perfect example. I have to make this for us!

David said...

Mary, Welcome back from Computer Never Never Land! Great looking and sounding soup...bean soup and fresh Italian bread, a hard combination to beat! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Kate @ Demiglazed said...

I'm glad you got the computers sorted! I hope that never happens to you again, at least so badly...

Great timing with this recipe, though. My CSA farm, Mighty Food Farm, has just started doing heirloom beans this year, and I have a lovely mason jar full of cannelini beans to use. I may have to make some good crusty bread just to let it get stale and try this soup!

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

Mary, I'm glad that your computer problem is solved... virus. Ugh. I hate people who have bad intentions. I have to trust that bad karma will go back to where it belongs. Thanks for reminding us to backup. This dish looks delicious!

James Brewer - Back to the Chopping Board said...

I'm pleased you got your computers back! Let's hope no-one else gets that virus.

Soup sounds wonderful - nice!

Ginny said...

I didn't know any of this info, it is really interesting. And I enjoyed the story about your father, rather sad and bittersweet.

Tinny said...

Adoro la zuppa bastarda (carino il nome!), credo venga buona con ogni tipo di fagiolo, cannellino, nero, borlotto! Un abbraccio.

Lauren Hairston said...

It look delicious! I love cheap eats! I'm glad your computers are up and running. Nothing worse than a virus! Thanks for reminding me to do a backup.

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

Really delicious. Will make it when fall returns.

Anna said...

I love the story and background of this dish. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

sweetcarolinescooking.com said...

Ha! Your title cracked me up, you're too funny. Sorry about the computers crashing, that's such a bummer. :( Makes you feel so disconnected. Anyways, this dish looks extremely delicious. Love it!

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert said...

Another beautiful dish! Funny title - sounds like it was well deserved!

Faith said...

I'm glad the computers are up and running, Mary! Great soup and I love the name...sometimes a little humor really helps! Hope your week is off to a wonderful start, Mary!

Rita said...

I know this just has to be good; enjoyed reading your story! What fantastic salad in your last post.
Tempting summer treats.
Rita

emiglia said...

Sorry to hear about your computer virus difficulties, but I love the story, especially the quote your father gave you. Here's hoping you'll be back to posting as usual soon!

Betty @ scrambled henfruit said...

Glad your computer's better! Lovely soup- we love hearty bean soup here. :)

Janie said...

I love your recipes and photos!!! But I couldn't help but notice the uncanning resemblance between your header and the "veggies on a fork" picture on the Makoto Dressing website: http://makotodressing.com/

Quite remarkable!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

That dish looks sooooo gooood! I need a clone to cook all of the recipes of yours that appeal to me!

Sorry to hear about the computers, when they don't work it is very annoying!

cookingmisadventures said...

That looks so tasty! And good for you, finding the humor in the name. :) ~ Courtney

cookingmisadventures said...

That looks so tasty! And good for you, finding the humor in the name. :) ~ Courtney

Mary said...

Janie, I purchased the right to use the photo five years ago. I do not have exclusive rights to its use. I'm sure the company in question purchased it as well. If not they are in violation of copyright law. I'll let the owner of the picture know that it is being used there and let him deal with it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Angie's Recipes said...

Sorry about your computer. It's just terrible.
Don't know abut this dish...looks salivating!

Wendy Irene said...

I'm so happy your back and that the computers are working well again!! Hugs :)

Jeannie said...

Cheeky name for a dish and looking really delicious! Glad your pcs are back in working order:)

Lucie said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy cannellini beans. As for the name, well, why change the original, right?

lena said...

that's an interesting bastarda story! you have a great week!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Mary, even if your dad was worn out and tired, I know his heart was full to bursting as his precious daughter received her diploma! I love what he wrote for you... The world is yours! blessings ~ tanna

hope you stay on top of the computer problems! they have been driving me nuts in the past few weeks!

Tender Branson said...

Like the story behind the soup, think I will like the soup even better.

My Little Space said...

Oh my, so sorry about the computers! I hope it won't come to attack mine. Btw, I'm not so familiar with this 'Bastarda'. Going to find out more! Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely day.
Blessings, Kristy

Elaine said...

With a name like that, this soup just has to be good! I'm so glad that your computer problems have been resolved, Mary.

Greg said...

Wow, how have I never made this? It looks so simple and flavorful.

Melynda said...

Good evening Mary, I had to share this great soup on my Wednesday links, thanks so much.

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