Good Bread Should be Never Wasted

If you travel around the Mediterranean you will find bakery around almost every street corner.  Fresh bread is a must for every meal but that does not mean that the old bread is wasted.  People around the Mediterranean came out with ingenious ways to make use of their old and even almost stale bread.  In Italy old bread are used to thicken soups or salads, in Spain old bread is used as bread crumbs and in the eastern Mediterranean  dry and hard pita is used as chips for salads or in main dishes with meat and tahini sauce called Fatat. My favorite way to use old French or Italian bread is the Italian soup ribollita.  It is an excellent dish to use all the vegetable you have sitting in your refrigertor. Ribollitaserves 8-104       tablespoons olive oil1           medium onion, chopped2          carrots, diced2          celery sticks, diced1          16-ounce can diced tomatoes1          6-ounce tomato paste1         14-ounce can cooked cannellini beans, drained2         potatoes, peeled and diced1         zucchini, diced3        cups chopped Swiss chard or kale1        teaspoon sage1        teaspoon basilsalt to taste1/2   cup Parmesan cheese6       cups cut dry French or Italian bread-In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, the carrots and the celery.  Stir and cook for over slow heat for 5 minutes.-Add the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste and 8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, and then add the sage, the basil and the salt.-Drop the potatoes and continue to boil for another 5 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and bring back to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.-Add the beans and the cheese, stir and simmer for 5 minutes.-Drop the bread, stir gently and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.