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Ribollita

Ribollita is a Tuscan bread soup that is hearty, nutritious and fills your belly full of good stuff.  It is a simple comforting dish that will feed an army. It is great warmed up the next day. It can ben frozen to enjoy later when you want something to warm you up.

Dreaming about the food of Italy.

As I  am writing this I am sitting on my couch thinking about bread, olive oil and wine.  All the while Brutus is watching me like a hawk. You see I have only been home from Italy for two days and Brutus missed me. He is worried I might leave again.

He is right to worry because I miss Italy.

I was gone for fourteen days skipping through Florence, Tuscany, and Modena.

Eating, drinking, laughing and throughly enjoying myself. I can still taste all the fabulous Parmesan Raggiano, Prosciutto, Pasta, Figs, Olives, Wine.  The list is long my friends. 

My first day home I went to the market to buy ingredients to remake one of the dishes I enjoyed while in Tuscany.

Ribollita.

Part of my trip to Italy included a culinary adventure.

A group of complete strangers signed up for journey through Tuscany. Thrown together under the tutelage of Peggy Markel.

This group of complete strangers cooked several recipes together.  We sat down to enjoy our cooking, sip some wine and left the table fast friends. 

I was a lucky duck to go on this trip solo, and leave with ten friends.

(The picture below is of me and Eric getting ready to start chopping the vegetables for the Tuscan Soup)

Traveling through Tuscany.

Peggy believes that bringing people together around the table to eat good food and have meaningful conversations is a political act. “When we merge with other cultures through food, we let the world in and see ourselves as a part of it”.

Boy is she correct!  Because of her expertise and passion for good food, I got to experience Tuscany in a way that really touched on everything I love.  Now I am smitten!

She introduces us to authentic Tuscan recipes, wines, the people who produce it, and we get the honor of cooking along side chefs making homemade pasta, soups, biscotti, and more. 

We got to taste fabulous wines. Taste it with wine makers. At their dinner tables while they served us lunch. 

(Even when we were released to do dinner on our own, we came together to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Modena)

Watching Parmesan being born.

My group went to a dairy farm one morning and watched Parmigiano-Reggiano being born!  Yes they call it “being born”.

We walked out to the barn and met the cows who produced the milk to make the cheese. Then we got to taste the cheese with the farmers who have been making Parmesan cheese for generations. 

Because it was Italy the farmer made us each an espresso before we left.

Ribollita is a comforting cold weather dish.

I will share more about my trip and all the amazing foods in future posts. Today I am sharing this Tuscan Bean Soup recipe. 

I am working from my memory on how we made it, sadly I forgot the recipe in my hotel room when I left. I believe my version tastes almost as good. 

The only thing missing from this recipe is the Tuscan sunset, and the friends I got to share it with!

Let me know if you love this recipe as much as I do, Buon Appetito!

PS: IF YOU WANT THIS TO BE A GLUTEN FREE RECIPE, USE BEANS MARKED GLUTEN FREE AND OMIT THE BREAD OR USE A CRUSTY GF BREAD. 

IF YOU WANT RECIPE TO BE VEGETARIAN SUBSTITUTE VEGETABLE STOCK FOR CHICKEN STOCK

Ribollita

Ribollita is a Tuscan bread soup a hearty, nutritious and fills your belly full of good stuff.  It is a simple comforting dish that will feed an army. It is great warmed up the next day. It can ben frozen to enjoy later when you want something to warm you up.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 8 people

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red onion peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots peeled, halved and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks peeled, halved and sliced (peeling is optional)
  • 4 medium yukon gold potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 bunch of kale leaves stems removed and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard stems removed and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cups green beans trimmed and sliced
  • 1 28 oz can Marzano diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups good quality chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth for vegetarian recipe)
  • 2 cans Italian white beans (cannellini will do) with liquid (check for gluten free if you are looking for gluten free recipe)
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian Parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh Rosemary chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh Sage chopped
  • 1/2 loaf of good crusty sourdough bread (about 8-10 slices) omit for gluten free or use a hearty gluten free bread
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan Grated
  • Olive oil (drizzle on top)

Instructions

  • Add olive oil to large dutch oven over low-medium heat.
  • Add garlic and onion stirring to coat with olive oil.  Do not brown, you are looking to soften the vegetables, about 5 minutes
  • Raise heat to medium and add carrots, celery, potatoes, kale, Swiss chard, and green beans, and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and tomatoes.  Stir to toss and coat vegetables. 
  • Let cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add beans, herbs and remaining chicken broth, and stir to combine, set to simmer, stirring occasionally making sure to scrape bottom of pan.  Cook 25-30 minutes or until reduced and the sauce has thickened.
  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Once sauce is thickened, add sourdough slices into sauce, layering in a circular direction.
  • Tuck bread one piece of time into sauce so that you can no longer see it.  Try not to overlap bread.
  • Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the top, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes in the oven.
  • Remove, let cool, spoon up into bowls and enjoy.
  • You can always sprinkle on a bit more parmesan and drizzle of olive oil over bowls.

Notes

  • Vegetarian Version: If you would like to make a vegan/vegetarian version of this recipe, substitute vegetable broth or stock for the chicken broth. Easy!
  • Gluten-Free Version: For a gluten-free ribollita, omit the bread entirely, or substitute your favorite gluten-free crusty bread. Also, be sure to watch the labels on your beans and other ingredients.
  • Add a Parmesan Rind: If you grate your own Parmesan from a wedge with rind on the outer edge, go right ahead and cut the rind from the wedge to add to your soup! This will add some great umami notes. (Keep in mind that this may not be vegetarian-friendly, and check your labels!)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian

Categories:

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