Ribollita, a thick Tuscan porridge of vegetables, is a type of minestrone that is ladled over slices of stale bread and grated Parmesan. When the soup is reheated (ribollita means "reboiled"), the bread disintegrates, making a deliciously hearty soup.
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- I large onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 carrots, peeled and minced
- 4 ribs celery, minced
- 1 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 small zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 small head green cabbage, shredded
- 1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, undrained
- 8 ounces beet greens or Swiss chard, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 10 ounces fresh or thawed frozen spinach, coarsely chopped
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup canned cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 slices (each 1 inch thick) stale French or Italian bread
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 scallions, trimmed and minced
1. The day before serving, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stockpot. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, and thyme. Saute 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the potatoes, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, beet greens, and spinach; toss to combine with the other vegetables. Stir in the chicken broth and red wine. Simmer the soup uncovered until the vegetables are very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Fifteen minutes before the soup is done, stir in the cannellini beans and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Ladle one-third of the soup into a clean stockpot. Cover with 4 slices of the bread and 3/4 cup Parmesan. Cover the bread layer with another third of the soup. Make a layer of the remaining bread and 3/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with the remaining soup. Refrigerate overnight.
4. About 30 minutes before serving, reheat the soup over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Ladle the soup into large soup bowls and garnish each serving with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan and scallions. Serve at once.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
from Cold Weather Cooking