Ribollita (Stale Bread and Vegetables Soup)
Aside from the stale bread, the main ingredient for Ribollita is “Cavolo Nero”, which gets translated into black cabbage. The closest vegetable to the Italian variety (about 3 ft. tall) is Lacinato Kale, which is very similar in color and texture, but lacks the size Italians are accustomed to…
Ribollita is a dish that gets better while it sits, and can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days (no freezer for this one); Therefore the amount of ingredients that we will give you for this recipe will be enough for a soup that can either feed a small army, be an appetizer for 40, or just sit in the fridge for a few days while the whole family nibbles at it.A quick note about the bread.
We do consume a decent quantity of bread during the week that we always end up with a bag of leftovers to be used for this kind of recipes. If you’d rather plan to cook this traditional Tuscan soup in a more “produced way” you can either:
- buy a couple of loaves of bread, slice them thin and let sit for a couple of days on in a basket, cover with a kitchen towel. Make sure you stir occasionally, and if you have a sunny window, that would help.
- slice the bread and load a couple of baking sheets, dry in the oven at 250 for a couple of hour, or more. Check often, because you can not cook Ribollita with toasted bread.
Uncork the wine, wash you hands…
Serves: 12 / Prep Time: 40 min. / Cook Time: 2 hrs.
Prepare the Soffritto. Chop the onion, the carrot and the celery, and saute` in about 5 tablespoons of Olive Oil on a medium-high flame, until browned. Make sure to use a big pot, it has to accommodate a lot of ingredients.
Wash all your vegetables thoroughly, make sure to remove the thickest stocks from the Kale, chop everything medium fine.
Pour the vegetables in the pot, lower the flame, and cook for about 10 minutes to reduce them, then add the pelati.
At this point cover with water (it would be probably around 6 cups), season abundantly with Salt and Pepper and bring to a gentle boil.
Cook for 1 1/2 hour., stirring from time to time, then add the stale bread and the beans. Cook for another 1/2 hour.
Remove from the stove to cool off, and if you can, let sit in the fridge overnight.
Dress with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, absolutely NO Parmesan Cheese.
Debi and Gabriele