- 2 h 10 min
We all know ribollita as the comfort food dish par excellence of the Tuscan culinary tradition. The origins of this dish date back to the Middle Ages when the nobles used to eat their dishes in the so-called "canteens". Once lunch was finished, the leftover bread was given to the servants, who, to feed themselves, would combine it with their own vegetables and boil it, obtaining a substantial and tasty soup, a true ancestor of ribollita! Still today this recipe is part of home cooking, known and appreciated in different variations in the same region expressing family traditions or local customs. In this recipe we tell you our little secrets to enjoy this comfort food of the past. Wait for the first cold days and allow yourself the time it takes to make the ribollita, a dish that cannot be hurried that will repay you for the wait!
To prepare the ribollita, start by cooking the cannellini beans, first soaking them in a bowl full of water for at least one night, preferably for 24 hours 1. After this time, heat the olive oil with the garlic clove and rosemary sprig 2 in a large, high-sided pan, then add the beans drained from the soaking water 3,
cover with water 4 and cook for 1 hour over medium-low heat with the lid 5. After add pepper and salt (salt is best added at the end otherwise it would harden the beans if used too early). Remove the rosemary sprig, take a part of the beans 6 and keep them aside because they will have to be added whole at the end.
Blend everything with a hand blender to obtain a broth to cook the soup in 7. Now prepare the sauté: peel the onion and chop it finely 8, wash the celery and reduce it to a finely chopped mixture 9.
Next, peel the carrot and reduce it to small cubes 10. In a pan heat 1.8 tbsp (25 g) of olive oil and fry the onion, celery, and chopped carrots over a moderate heat 11. While the sauté lightly fries, peel the potato and dice it 12.
Add the potato cubes to the sauté and continue cooking 13. While the potato is cooking, pour the peeled tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with a fork 14, then add them to the vegetables in the pan 15.
While continuing the cooking , clean the leafy vegetables: divide the cabbage in half, remove the white core 16, and then cut it into long thin strips 17, wash and coarsely cut the chard 18.
Lastly, wash and cut the Italian kale (cavolo nero) leaves 19. Add the cabbage, chard 20 and Italian kale 21 to the soup.
Now pour the bean broth you blended 22, stir, cover with a lid 23 and bring to a boil. When the soup boils, remove the lid and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the soup is ready, add salt and pepper, add the whole beans you set aside 24, stir and turn off the heat.
Cut the stale bread into coarse slices, lay a few slices on the bottom of a bowl or soup tureen, cover with a couple of ladles of soup 25, then lay another layer of bread and add more soup, continue alternating the layers until you finish the ingredients 26. Allow to cool at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap 27 for at least 2 hours.
After this time has passed, the bread will have absorbed the soup and the ribollita will have a semi-solid appearance 28. Pour it into a pan, bring it to a boil, and flavor it with chili pepper 29 and thyme leaves. Your ribollita is ready to be enjoyed with a drizzle of oil 30!
Store the ribollita for 1-2 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It can be frozen if you have used all fresh ingredients that have not been thawed, although it may affect the flavor.
To add a tasty touch to this typical preparation, garnish it with raw chopped scallions!