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Radicchio Soup

By Chef John Ash

This is a very simple soup but brings together interesting contrasting flavors – – bitter from the radicchio and smoke from the cheese that are delicious and intriguing. This dish requires a wine with great fruit, like the ​Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time 20 minutes

    Prep Time 10 minutes

    Difficulty Level Easy


    1 small head of fresh radicchio

    1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil


    Freshly ground pepper

    2 tbsp garlic, finely sliced

    2 tbsp shallot, finely sliced

    2 c canned petite diced tomatoes in juice

    1/2 c hearty red wine

    3 c rich chicken or vegetable stock

    Kosher or sea salt

    Freshly ground pepper

    2 c cubed, good quality peasant-style bread, crusts removed

    1/4 lb smoked goat cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

    1/4 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped


    1. Quarter and wash the radicchio. Remove cores and slice thinly. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a deep saucepan and over moderately high heat, sauté the radicchio until it just starts to wilt, for a minute or two seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Remove and set aside.

    2. Add two more tablespoons olive oil to the pan and sauté the garlic and shallot until softened but not brown. Add the tomatoes, wine and stock and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    3. Meanwhile toss the bread cubes with the remaining olive oil. Quickly sauté bread in a large sauté pan over moderately high heat until they are golden brown. Add more oil if necessary. Can be made a day ahead.

    4. To serve, stir the radicchio into the hot soup. Divide the cheese and bread cubes among 4 large soup bowls and ladle soup over. Sprinkle basil over the top and serve immediately.

    5. Note: If making soup ahead do not add radicchio until serving time. Soup will become too bitter if radicchio is left in for more than a few minutes.

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