Ribollita – Tuscany’s Famous Soup
- Active Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Onion (medium) - small dice
- 2 ribs Celery - small dice
- 1 Carrot - small dice
- 3 cloves Garlic - finely minced
- 2 cans Cannellini Beans 15-ounce cans low-sodium (or no salt added) and liquid, divided
- 1 Roma Tomatoes - small dice
- 5 cups Water
- 1 Russet Potato (large), peeled and diced in ⅓” cubes
- 1 bunch Lacinato Kale - washed and stems removed
- 1⁄2 head Savoy Cabbage - core removed and cut into 1-2” squares
- 1 Tablespoon Tarragon leaves, chopped
- 1 Parmesan Cheese rind
- 1⁄2 pound Italian Bread (crusty), sliced including the crusts
- Kosher Salt. - to taste
- Black Pepper - to taste
GLUTEN FREE:I wouldn’t sub GF bread here, I’d just leave out the bread and reduce the water to 4 cups and I’d also boil the soup without a lid to encourage the soup to thicken.
LOW CARB:If you’re worried about the bread, you can certainly leave it out by following the GF instructions, or serve bread on the side for dipping in, or reduce the bread by half so you get a little of the classic taste without a large bread portion.
DAIRY FREE:It mostly is as written, just leave out the parmesan rind and garnish.
PARMESAN:If you have a whole chunk of “Parmigiano Reggiano” you’ll have a tough, yellow rind with red dots on it spelling out the name of the cheese. This is the kind you want - cut this rind off (or always save them in your freezer!) and toss this whole thing into the boiling soup to add a meaty “umami flavor.” If you don’t have this parmesan, just add 1 tsp of the cheese you have to the soup at the end and stir it in.
PALEO:Sub out the beans! Double the celery and carrots. Add 2 diced zucchini, 1 diced head of cauliflower, and use chicken stock instead of water.
BEAN FREE:Sub out the beans! Double the celery and carrots. Add 2 diced zucchini, 1 diced head of cauliflower, and use chicken stock instead of water. Also, consider adding a small pasta at the end and its more like a minestrone. 1 cup of lentils, rice or barley would be great too.
1SOFFRITTO (Just a fancy word for diced onions, celery, carrots, and garlic.)
Dice the onions, celery, carrot. Mince the garlic.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and when its shimmering, add the diced veggies.
When you start to smell the veggies, turn heat down to medium and stir occasionally for about 4-5 minutes.
2BEANS AND BOIL
Transfer 1 can of beans and liquid to a bowl and mash them with a potato masher or a just a large fork. Go as fine as you can until its a thick paste or stop when you are tired of doing it (the consistency is up to you, so this step depends on how much time you’re willing to put in).
When the veggies are translucent and the pot is gently steaming, add the cans of beans with the liquid and the mashed beans.
Add 5 cups of water and 1 heaping teaspoon of salt and the parmesan rind (if using). Stir to combine.
Dice the tomato, add to the soup. The skin and juices can go in as well.
Peel and dice the potato, add it to the soup.
Bring the pot to a boil, you can cover it all the way or partially to help this happen more quickly. When it does boil, stir well and turn heat to medium and maintain a full simmer (ie the pot has a bubble appearing and popping constantly but not splattering or disrupting the entire surface).
While soup is boiling, prep the greens.
Wash the kale and remove the stems by pinching the stem between your forefinger and thumb and slide it along to pull off the leaves. Stack the leaves and chop into ½” long strips, then cut in half (in line with where the stem ran) to make approximate squares.
Chop the cabbage in half and remove the outermost leaf if its browned or dry. Cut in half again, to make a quarter of the cabbage and expose the root. You can now make a triangular cut on the quarter pieces to remove the core but not waste of the edible leaves.
Lay each quarter flat and chop into squares.
Add the kale and cabbage to the soup, stir to combine. Add the thyme as well.
Boil soup for about 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally during this time and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the beans from sticking.
When the potatoes are tender, Add the slices of bread and press them under the surface. Let sit for 10 minutes, then either cool the soup for tomorrow, or stir and serve it now.
Taste and add more salt as needed. I like a bit of freshly cracked black pepper as well. You can use more for garnish.
4REBOIL and PLATING
If you’ve made the soup ahead, bring to back to a boil (you really should do it in a pot to be true to the classic, but microwave is fine in a pinch).
When hot, ladle in bowls. Top with a swirl of high quality olive oil (if its not really good olive oil, just skip it) and lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese and black pepper if you like.