Today we travel to the island of Elba for a simple and healthy soup called SBURRITA or for our purposes – SOUP WITH COD AND SWISS CHARD. This is a delicious and lighter soup which is traditionally made with salt cod and the lovely sweeter green, swiss chard.
About Elba: Elba is an island located between the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas, which is actually part of Tuscany – more specifically in the province of Livorno. The island is noted as the first area of exile in 1814 for the French Emperor Napoleon I, who was “parked “there by the British following his devastating defeat. In the late 1800’s, Elba became part of the Duchy of Tuscany and then came under the umbrella of the Kingdom of Italy.
The Livornese are known for their use of salt cod in soups and sauces. Using the salt cod is always preferable in soup, as it does not flake as easily as fresh cod. However, in this soup, you may use the fresh, knowing that the fish will flake but will still provide an abundance of flavor. If using the the salt cod, the recipe includes a link to instructions for soaking. The SBURRITA is also traditionally made with plenty of garlic, swiss chard, and plenty of fresh mint. However, in this recipe, I have used enough garlic for flavor and just a couple of sprigs of mint and more fresh thyme. The flavors blend well to provide a beautiful soup. You will love how quickly this soup comes together. It is not an all day project!
Italians, in general, love using greens in their soups. As a young girl, many dinners in our home revolved around some sort of greens. Sometimes it was greens and beans. Often, it was a minestra containing a ham bone.
With this soup, you enjoy the very authentic Tuscan version of a milder soup using cod and swiss chard. You can use the rainbow chard with the colorful stalks or the silverbeet . Swiss chard is a wonderful green – slightly more flavorful than spinach but one of the sweeter greens used in Italian cooking. Even the non-green eaters in your home should like the chard.
The best part of this soup is the ingredient that brings heartiness to the dish – the bread! As with many Italian soups and stews, toasted bread is served at the bottom of the bowl as a kind of platform. The soup softens the bread and it all comes together to form a soothing flavorful dish which is traditionally Italian in every way.
SOUP WITH COD AND SWISS CHARD
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30-40 minutes
1 lb. Fresh or Salt Cod – if using salt cod- try the instructions for soaking HERE
The fresh cod is fine but will flake more than the salt cod. Either way!
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 large bunch Swiss Chard – rainbow or silverbeet (regular)
3 Cloves fresh garlic – you can chop finely or add whole cloves.
1 Tbsp. fresh Thyme – chopped
2 sprigs of mint
Pinch red pepper flakes
8 c. Vegetable Broth
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes cut up and peeled
Slices of Crusty bread – brushed with olive oil and toasted under broiler in oven
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
Salt and pepper
In a deep pot, saute garlic for a minute in olive oil to infuse.
Clean the swiss chard by rinsing with cold water a few times, drain, and cut up.
Cut up the cod and add to the pot along with the swiss chard, herbs, potatoes, and red pepper.
Cook about 5 minutes tossing gently in the oil.
It will seem like a lot of greens, but they cook down fairly quickly and reduce greatly.
Then add the broth, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.
Correct your seasoning by adding salt and pepper as needed.
To serve this beautiful SOUP WITH COD AND SWISS CHARD or SBURRITA, place a slice of the toasted bread in each dish. Ladle the soup over the bread, and offer the grated cheese.
PARLA COME MANGI!
Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.