Sunday, November 23, 2008
Ribollita is a yummy Tuscan soup with many variations but it always includes leftover bread.
3 T EVOO
4 thick slices bacon
5 garlic cloves
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
One 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes
6 cups beef stock
4 cups chopped or torn stale bread (about 1/2 pound)
Two 15-ounce cans small white beans
4 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
10 leaves fresh basil, torn
1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO (3 turns of the pan), then add the bacon and cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, three-quarters of the chopped onion, the carrots and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook the veggies for 7 to 8 minutes, then add the wine to deglaze the pot. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and bring up the heat. When the soup boils, reduce it to a simmer and stir in the bread and beans. Pile the greens into the pot and wilt them into the soup.
2. Simmer the ribollita for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring the soup as it simmers, until it thickens to a dense stewlike consistency. Turn off the heat, adjust the seasonings and ladle into shallow bowls. Top each bowl with some of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, an additional drizzle of EVOO, a spoonful of the reserved raw onion and some basil. Pass around the remaining cheese at the table.