Updated: Dec 22, 2018
Hi guys, I am happy to start the section of my Mom's recipes for our great Tuscan dishes, starting from one of most iconic soups you can find in our beautiful land, Ribollita.
Not to add pressure on you folks, but please note that in Italian cuisine there is NO ROOM FOR MISTAKE, therefore pay attention to the original recipe because, well, quoting Rambo: "God forgives, Nadia doesn't". All jokes aside, I believe this will be a lot of fun to make and I really hope it will bring back some memories of Tuscany to you and your families!
This kind of dish is typical to la cucina povera, a traditional style of Italian cuisine that literally translates to "poor cooking." Cucina povera was developed by frugal Italian cooks who made the most with what they had: in Tuscany we have a long tradition of Cucina povera, even though our bread is 'sciapo' (unsalted) and begins to harden in a couple of days, we would never throw it away but use it for Bruschetta, Ribollita or Pappa al Pomodoro instead.
In the actual name of the dish there is a fundamental principle you MUST follow, Ribollita in fact means re-boiled, so you'd need to prepare it the day before, let it sit into your fridge and then re-heat it in a pan before serving it into an heated bowl with crunchy bread, in order to reach the thick texture that makes this dish a unique soup that can be compared to a vegetable stew.
Please note that there are many versions of the dish, some of them are non vegetarian, I am not saying that the other versions are bad...I just am saying that my Mom makes the best Ribollita in the entire world,lol!
Yelds: 6-8 servings. Cooking time 45-60 minutes. Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 rib celery, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 leeks (white parts only), sliced. Onions are fine otherwise
1 bunch Tuscan kale, cut into 2-inch ribbons 1 head savoy cabbage, cut into 2-inch ribbons 1 bunch Swiss chard, cut into 2-inch ribbons 3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced 4 fresh tomatoes, diced 2 cups cooked cannellini beans, half pureed
Sliced stale bread
Salt and Pepper
How to get started:
The base of the dish is basically the same as many other Tuscan preparations, the Soffritto: so
1 place the olive oil, leeks or onions in a large pot over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks and garlic are soft but not browned, about 3 minutes.
2 Add the carrots and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, until softened, about 8 more minutes. At this stage, add the kale, cabbage, and chard, and cook – always stirring! – until the greens are very soft, about 8 minutes.
3 Did I mention you should stir it very frequently? Well If I did not do so, remind to KEEP STIRRING!
4 Add the tomatoes and their juice, squeezing the tomatoes between your fingers to break them up to obtain a more irregular texture or dice them if you are a true perfectionist.
5 Add 2 quarts of water, the bay leaf, the rosemary, and all of the beans. Season to taste with salt.
6 Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the rosemary.
7 Let the soup cool down and put it into you fridge overnight so all the flavors of different ingredients can blend together in a perfect hamony.
8 Now, re-heat it and bring it to a boil for a few minutes. Pour it into a heated bowl and add crunchy stale bread and top of it and drizzle each portion with generous amount of Extra Virgin Olive oil and Parmesan if you are into cheese.
The original recipes from Florence OBLIGES to add slices of raw white onions but we know you are romantic and passionate people and love to kiss your partner so you can skip the onions :)
Ops, I was almost forgetting to add a wine pairing: definitely a medium-bodied red, from Tuscany of course. I would suggest a Chianti Classico or a Rosso di Montepulciano.