A hearty and comforting Tuscan soup made with vegetables, beans and bread – allow to cool and reheat the next day for a really special treat.
First, make your soffrito, a base of onions, carrots and celery sautéed in olive oil. Wash, peel, trim and finely chop the onions, carrots and celery. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add in the diced veggies and stir. Add in about 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook the veggies low and slow, stirring often until they are very soft, about 20 minutes. Once softened, crank up the heat a bit and sauté until caramelized, about 8 minutes.
Next, add in the garlic, tomatoes and wine. Stir to combine. Allow to simmer until mixture is reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in the water or stock, bread and cheese rind. Simmer until the bread is very soft and beginning to break down, about 10 minutes. (Cook’s note: You can use more bread if desired. I use less than in many ribollita recipes.) Stir in the kale and potatoes and simmer until everything is tender, about 15 minutes.
Place about 1/3 of the cannellini beans in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of water (or bean cooking liquid if you made from dried beans.) Mash using a fork or potato masher until a paste is formed. (Alternatively, puree with a food processor or blender. This will help thicken the soup along with the bread.) Add both the smushed cannellini beans and remaining cannellini beans to the pot. Simmer everything together until tender, about 15-20 minutes. If soup thickens too much as it cooks, add in more water or stock. Taste and season with more salt and pepper.
Ribollita translates to ‘reboiled’ and becomes even tastier when refrigerated and reheated the following day. Fish out the rind if so desire. Ladle the delicious soup into bowls and serve with a hearty drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil and plenty of Parmesan cheese.