This hearty and warming soup is a typical tuscan dish beeing prepared on sunday, and re-boiled in the upcoming days with old bread (the tuscan non-salty one). Historically, Ribollita has been known as a recovery dish par excellence of the Tuscan culinary tradition. The origins of this dish date back to the Middle Ages when the nobles used to consume their dishes in bread called "mense". Once lunch was over, the bread was given to the servants, who used to put it to their vegetables and boil it, obtaining a hearty and tasty soup, a real ancestor of the ribollita! Even today, this recipe is part of home cooking, known and appreciated in different variations in the tuscan region that express family traditions or local customs. Have a nice Weekend!
Prep time: 15min
Cooking time: 1hr
Cooling time: 2 hrs
Portions: about 6
For the bean broth (if you are not using canned beans, which you can use instead):
350g Dried cannellini beans/
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove Garlic
1 sprig Rosemary or thyme
For the soup:
250g Savoy cabbage
300g Black cabbage (tuscan kale)
220g Stale bread
180 Peeled canned tomatoes
80g Onions 80 g
80g Carrots 80 g
100g Celery (stalks)
To prepare the ribollita, start by cooking the cannellini beans (in case you are not using the canned beans), first soak them in a bowl filled with water at least for a whole night, even better for 24 hours. After this time in a large pan with a high rim, heat the oil of olive with the clove of garlic and the sprig of rosemary, then add the beans drained from the soaking water, fill up with fresh water and cook for 1 hour over medium-low heat with the lid. At the end of cooking add pepper and salt (the salt is best added at the end otherwise it would harden the vegetables if put too early). Remove the rosemary sprig, take a portion of beans and keep them aside as they will have to be added whole at the end.
Blend everything with an hand mixer to obtain a broth with which you need for the soup . Now take care of the SOFFRITTO (name for a base which is very often used in italian cuisine): finally chop onion, carrots and celery.
In a large saucepan heat up olive oil and sauté chopped onion, celery and carrots on a moderate heat. While the soffritto fries, peel the potato and chop into cubes.
Add the diced potato into the sauce and continue cooking. Now pour the tomatoes in a bowl and mash them with a fork, add them to the vegetables in the pan.
As the cooking continues, cut the cabbage it into julienne strips and coarsely chop the chard and finally cut the tuscan cabbage leaves too. Add everything into to the soup. Now pour the bean broth that you have blended, stir, cover with the lid and bring to the boil. When the soup boils, remove the lid and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the soup is ready, season with salt and pepper, add the whole beans you have kept aside, stir and turn off the heat.
Cut the stale bread into coarse slices, lay some slices on the bottom of a bowl, cover with a couple of ladlefuls of soup, then lay another layer of bread and cover with more soup, continue alternating the layers to finish the ingredients. Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the fridge covered with cling film for at least 2 hours.
After this time, take the ribollita out. The bread will have absorbed the soup and the ribollita will have a semi-solid state, Pour it into a saucepan, bring it to the boil, flavor it with chilli and thyme leaves.
Your ribollita is ready to be enjoyed with a drizzle of olive oil!