Preparation time: 3 hours + 8 hours
Expense: 9 euros
Ribollita soup is the superstar of Tuscan cooking in the world. Simple to prepare and based on humble ingredients, it has come to represent the soul of the Tuscan character: thrifty, consistent and full of taste. Ribollita is born of ages of hardship and has kept its low profile for centuries, without changing its ingredients a bit from the original. The thought behind the inventor of Ribollita must have been something like: “we need to eat but we only have few vegetables and stale bread. I have to throw them in a pan and create something good and nutritious for supper!”. Well, it might have been something of the likes, but for sure this Tuscan recipe is as good as healthy and rich with fibers and proteins; in fact, in Tuscany it is considered an all-in-one entry, a larger portion is enough to satisfy even the most gluttonous eater.
– Swiss chard 1 bunch
– carrots 2
– black kale 1 head
– leek 1
– white savoy cabbage ¼ head
– zucchini 2
– onion 1 (+1 red raw onion optional)
– celery stalks 2
– potatoes 2
– white cannellini beans 300 grams (10.6 ounces)
– plum tomatoes peeled 2
– stale homemade white bread (Italian) 250 grams (8.8 ounces)
– extra virgin olive oil
– salt and pepper
Soak the beans for 8 hours prior to star cooking (use abundant water as they absorb quite a lot). After this time has elapsed, cook them through boiling in two quarter gallons of water. Meanwhile, in another pot, lightly golden the sliced onions in extra virgin olive oil. Prepare all the other ingredients prior to frying the onion by chopping them up into large chunks. When the onion is golden slowly add ll the other vegetables and cook for ten minutes or until softened. Now add all the water used to cook the beans that is leftover, and half the cooked beans, while you have to puree the other half of the beans before adding them (use a food mill for this, as it also removes the skin. Use a blender if you want the skin too). After having added salt and pepper to taste, cook at low heat for two hours, covering up with a lid.
After two hours, add the stale bread in slices, and stir in well. Keep on boiling the soup for an additional ten minutes while stirring as needed (the soup is quite thick now). Turn off the heat and let it rest for half hour with the lid on.
Serve it adding a swirl of olive oil to each bowl and few slices of raw red onion on top. You may also add a piece of red onion in a side dish for those who want to help themselves adding it at each spoonful. Buon appetito!
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