Ribollita

Ribollita is a famous Tuscan bread soup, hearty and warm it makes the perfect winter meal. There are many ways to make this dish but at its core it always consists of hearty vegetables and crisp bread.

This soup is traditionally made with dried or stale bread cubes stirred into the soup to thicken it. I prefer to toast sliced bread with olive oil in a 350 degree oven or grill it, then pour the soup over.

Ingredients
1 cupcooked cranberry beans (reserve the cooking liquid)
2yellow onions, diced
2celery stalks, diced
2carrots, diced
5cloves of garlic
1 cupcanned diced tomatoes
1bunch Tuscan kale, washed, stems removed and cut into thick ribbons
1bay leaf
1 tbspchopped herbs (thyme, rosemarry, and/or sage)
1loaf country sourdough, cut into 1″ slices and toasted with olive oil
3 cups vegetables or chicken stock and/or bean liquid
Parmesan cheese (optional)
olive oil
salt

Heat a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom. Add the diced carrots, onions, and celery and saute until soft, stirring in a little salt. The salt will help to sweat the vegetables while they cook and prevent them from browning. Then add the herbs, bay leaf, and garlic and cook for another minute before adding the kale and diced tomatoes.

Cook this for another 7 minutes or so. Add 3 cups of stock and 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid, or enough to just cover the ingredients. Add in the beans and cook together until thoroughly warmed. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning. Remove the bay leaf and ladle over your toasted bread. Serve hot and garnish with pepper and parmesan cheese (optional).

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