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Tuscan Ribollita

Ribollita is a hearty and traditional Tuscan soup that’s perfect for the fall and winter seasons. It’s known for its rich flavors and rustic appeal, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This recipe will guide you through the steps to prepare a delicious pot of Tuscan Ribollita.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cannellini beans (dried)
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch of cavolo nero (Tuscan kale), chopped
  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of rustic bread
  • Grated Pecorino cheese (for garnish)

Instructions

Prepare the Beans:

  • Soak the dried cannellini beans in water for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain and rinse the beans, then place them in a large pot of fresh water.
  • Cook the beans over medium heat until they are tender but not mushy (about 1-1.5 hours).
  • Drain the beans and set them aside.

Sauté the Vegetables:

  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrots, leek, and a pinch of salt.
  • Sauté the vegetables until they become soft and translucent.

Add the Greens:

  • Stir in the chopped cavolo nero and cabbage.
  • Cook the greens until they begin to wilt.

Simmer with Tomatoes:

  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes break down.

Combine Beans and Broth: Mix in the cooked cannellini beans and vegetable broth.

  • Bring the soup to a gentle simmer.

Season and Simmer:

  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Let it simmer over low heat for about 1 hour. The longer it simmers, the better the flavors meld.

Prepare the Bread:

  • Toast or grill the slices of rustic bread until they become crisp.

Serve the Ribollita:

  • Place a slice of toasted bread at the bottom of each serving bowl.
  • Ladle the hot Ribollita over the bread.
  • Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a generous sprinkle of grated Pecorino cheese.

Reboil (Ribollita):

The name “Ribollita” means “reboiled.” This dish is traditionally made the day before and reheated for serving. So, make it ahead and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat it and serve the following day.

This Tuscan specialty captures the essence of the region’s cuisine and is a delightful way to warm up during the cooler months. Buon appetito!

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