Summer Soup Recipe - Ribollita

This is a fantastic spring or summer soup, light enough for a sunny day! Ribollita literally translates to reboiled and is a classic example of cucina povera, Italian peasant cooking, using stale bread, beans & seasonal vegetables.

Ribollita Recipe

serves 4

2 carrots, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup of peas (if available)
small bunch of asparagus (if available)
1/2 cup of beans of your choice (we use & grow borlotti or cranberry beans), soaked over night, drained or fresh
1 bunch greens of your choice, washed well & chopped into manageable pieces (we use & grow bietola): cavolo nero, kale, chard, etc
5-7 cups of chicken stalk (vegetarian alternative: vegetable stalk or water)
1 tomato
bay leaf
chili flakes
couple cloves of garlic
salt & pepper
olive oil
1 small can of chopped tomatoes/couple of fresh tomatoes
2 handfuls of the inside (guts) of stale bread, broken into pieces, crust removed
good extra virgin olive oil for topping

In a pot, add beans, bay leaf, and your vegetable scraps -carrot peals, celery tops, onion skins, squished tomato, etc. Cover the beans with plenty of water (a few inches above the beans).

Bring to a boil, lower to simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender (time varies depending on your beans).  Strain beans, saving the cooking water for later.  Remove the aromatics from the beans.

Next in a soup pot, add carrots, celery, onion and slowly sauteed in a few glugs of olive oil for 10-15 minutes with OUT color.

Season with salt & pepper.
Add your canned tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat.  Add stock with some of the bean water. Bring up to a simmer. Add greens to your pot, wilting into the soup. Cook for 5-10 minutes, depending the toughness of your greens.

Once greens are soft, add in your beans & bread, one handful at a time.
Season with salt & pepper. Bread should dissolve, creating a velvety texture. Not a thick bread soup. Allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes. Taste check & adjust your seasonings.

Serve with a healthy drizzle of the best extra virgin olive oil you have and a ribbon of parmesan.

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