I had no idea what Ribollita was until I stumbled upon this recipe and tried it out. I assumed it was Italian for Delicious but a quick internet research session led me to discover it is a traditional Tuscan soup made to use up leftover bread that’s too hard to eat. Whatever it is, I loved it, and the best thing about it is, it’s actually pretty healthy but definitely not lacking in flavor. Even though there’s a bunch of bread in the soup itself, I recommend serving it with more bread (I went with garlic bread). If I haven’t mentioned it before, I love carbs and would rather saw off one of my own limbs than go on a low carb diet. I also tend to stay away from people who limit their carb intake as I don’t trust them – except for my best friend Sherie but that’s only because she says beer doesn’t count as a carb.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling at the table
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cans small white beans (I used cannellini beans)
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 3 cups stale chewy Italian bread, crust removed and bread torn into pieces, about 1/2 a loaf
- 1 small white onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped, for garnish (I skipped this)
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
- Heat a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add oil, garlic, onions, carrots, celery and bay leaf to the pot. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and saute until they begin to soften 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the beans, chicken broth and tomato sauce. Cover with lid and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, remove the lid and stir in torn stale bread. Stir soup and incorporate bread as it breaks down.
- Continue to cook until the soup becomes thick and the bread is distributed evenly (this took about 20 minutes for me), adjust seasoning and serve.
- Top the bowls of soup with thinly sliced or finely chopped raw onion if you like and plenty of fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano
SOURCE: Adapted from Rachel Ray