Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Peasant Food that Satisfies

Ribollita is a traditional Tuscan soup made from beans, vegetables, broth, and stale bread as follows:

yield: Makes 6 servings
active time: 20 minutes
total time: 1 1/2 hours
How good does a pot of this soup on the stove on a chilly, fall day after rambling in the woods and fields sound?


  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 ounces pancetta or ham, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 15-ounce cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed or cook them from dry beans soaking them the day before.
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs or chunks of stale bread
  • Grated parmesan
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1 In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the first five ingredients in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil for 5 minutes.
2 Add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the beans, broth, and rosemary. Simmer, covered, until the beans break apart, about an hour.
3 Add the kale and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more. Stir in the bread crumbs and serve, drizzled with the remaining olive oil and sprinkled with the cheese.

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I saw this soup on nearly all the menus in Tuscany and Umbria. 

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