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Tuscan Ribollita | @foodiephysician

Tuscan Ribollita

A hearty Italian soup with humble origins, Ribollita is made with vegetables and beans and thickened with leftover bread.

Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Author The Foodie Physician

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling on top
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bunch (about 10 oz) Tuscan kale, chopped (stems and ribs removed)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock or water
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 parmesan rind*
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cubed, firm bread such as ciabatta, whole wheat or multigrain loaf
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide based pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and chili flakes and cook 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until partially softened. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the kale and cook until it starts to wilt, 3-4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, stock (or water), thyme, bay leaf and parmesan rind and raise the heat to bring to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, pour about ¼ of the cannellini beans into a small bowl with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid and mash them together with a fork to form a paste. Pour the paste along with the remaining whole beans into the soup and stir to combine. The mashed beans will help to thicken the soup as it cooks. Simmer the soup with the lid slightly ajar, about 25 minutes until the vegetables are softened but still al dente. Add the bread and simmer another 5-7 minutes, partially covered. The bread will start to dissolve into the soup and thicken it further.
  3. Before serving, remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parmesan rind. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon the ribollita into bowls and top with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Recipe Notes

The soup thickens as it sits and should not be very liquidy. If you prefer more liquid, feel free to add more water at the end.

*Adding the rind of a block of parmesan cheese is a traditional Italian method of adding flavor to soups. The next time you buy fresh parmesan cheese, you can reserve the rind which is normally discarded. Wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the freezer to use in dishes like this. If you don’t have one, just add some extra grated parmesan cheese as a topping at the end.