Ribollita

We love this hearty fall soup or "stoup" as it could also be called. It's a twice-cooked soup that has its hearty beginnings in Tuscany. The Tuscans are well-known bean eaters and this soup is one of their classics. It is typically made in a two step process: first a hearty bean and vegetable soup is made and then the next day the leftovers are layered with slices of stale bread and baked in the oven.

Ingredients

Bread Cubes:

  • 6 slices stale Italian bread
  • Olive oil
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
All The Rest:
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 can (19 0z/540 mL) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz/798 mL) whole plum or San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 4 to 6 oz Tuscan or curly leaf kale (baby spinach is an option too)
  • Sea or Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar, optional
     


Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Bread Cubes: Drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss to distribute well. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crunchy.
  3. All The Rest: In the meantime, heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot set over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add oregano and chile flakes and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add drained beans (both), the tomatoes with their juices, and the broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  5. During this time, remove the thick stems from the kale and then roughly chop the leaves and thinner ribs. Add to the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and chile flakes as needed. At this point, if you want, drizzle with a tablespoon or two of Balsamic vinegar (or save and pass it at the table).
  7. Divide the crusty bread cubes between four to six bowls, then ladle the soup into the bowl over the top and serve.

Tip:  If you are not using all the soup, reserve some of the bread cubes.  Cooled soup can be stored in a lidded container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.  To reheat, bring back to a simmer and serve over bread cubes.  You’ll probably need to add some more water or chicken stock if you are reheating, as the beans will have soaked it up.


Servings

Makes 4 to 6 servings


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