Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ribollita _Tuscan Soup

Ribollita means 're-cooked' in Italian. Tuscan peasants prepared a soup with various green vegetables, served with a slice of bread just to give more consistency to the food.Peasants were poor and had not very much to eat .It is still common nowadays to serve soups with a slice of bread in each bowl .
They left the soup with bread on a side ,the day after they served it reheated .That’s what ‘s done nowadays ,not even waiting one day if not possible. The longer it lingers, the better it gets.
There are many different recipes, but most Tuscan recipes call for cavolo nero - black leaf kale - the closest substitute being savoy (green, crinkled, loose-leafed) cabbage - and cannelini - tuscan white beans .
Ribollita Toscana
200 g “cannellini” beans
20 leaves “cavolo nero”
2 swiss chards
200 gr green beans
1 savoy cabbage
4 Potato
Tomato sauce
2 stock cubes
Stale Bread
In a large casserole or cast iron or cast aluminum pot, with a cover and a thick bottom heat the olive on a bit more than medium heat - you want to sautee the ingredients slowly until the onion is transparent or lightly golden NOT browned - add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, leek, optional garlic stirring often until the onion has turned color (about ten minutes, depending on the heat)

Add a little water and a glass of tomato sauce. When this mixture boils add to it the vegetables (4 potatoes , 1 savoy cabbage , 200g green beans, 2 swiss chards and 20 leaves of black cabbage) which you have previously cut into big pieces.
First add the the harder vegetables and then the softer ones. Add, pureeing half of them, 200g of cannellini beans which you have cooked separately.When the vegetables are half-cooked add two stock cubes and season with salt. Leave to cook for at least one hour.
When all of the vegetables are soft prepare some slices of stale bread in a large bowl. Add olive oil and then cover with a layer of the cooked vegetables. Continue making layers of bread and vegetables. Now you have a “zuppa di pane” (bread soup).
Put some olive oil in a frying pan,add the “zuppa di pane” and cook it until a slight crust forms, if possible. Now you have your ribollita.

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