Ribollita is a thick and hearty Tuscan soup, which I really love during winter. It’s a humble dish that is grateful for any sort of vegetable you might have at the bottom of your fridge, and part of the filling is leftover stale bread. The soup will be twice as good if you take the time to make a vegetable stock and drizzle the soup with a really good olive oil.
- 4-5 carrots
- 5-6 celery stalks
- 3 large onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 bay laurel leaves
- 3 sage leaves
- 2 litres of vegetable stock
- 350g soaked and cooked white beans
- 5 slices of dry or stale sourdough bread
- A generous handful of cavalo nero leaves
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Begin by rinsing, peeling and preparing all the vegetables before chopping them into pieces of roughly the same size, for example small cubes. Heat up a good sauté pan with a thick base and add a generous splash of olive oil to the pan.
- Sauté the onions, carrots and celery with black pepper for 6-8 minutes to allow the flavours to seep out into the oil but without charring the vegetables. Add the garlic, bay laurel and sage leaves and sauté for approximately another 1 minute. Transfer the vegetable mix to a preheated pot with a thick base and season with salt. Add the vegetable stock before adding the white cooked beans. Put a lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 40 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the cavalo nero leaves and chop the rest into rough strips. Chop the stale bread into large cubes and add to the soup. Allow to simmer at low heat for approximately 10 minutes.
- Season the soup and serve with freshly grated Parmesan and top with extra olive oil.