ribollita.jpg

"What's for Dinner Honey?" 

We wandered into Robin's kitchen while we were shooting this and found a big pot of this classic Tuscan stew on the stove.  Family coming for dinner, a huge table set for everyone.  We couldn't resist asking for the recipe.

Ribollita- from Robin Pelissier

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 teaspoons fennel seed, lightly crushed
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
1 2 x 2-inch piece Parmesan rind, optional
1 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 small head {about 3/4 pound} green or savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large bunch {about 1 pound} Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
5 cups stale or toasted dense, French, or Italian bread, crust removed, and torn into chunks
½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat 4 tablespoons oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are soft and light golden, about 12 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves, stir to mix, and cook 1 minute.

Add the broth, Parmesan rind {if you're using it} and tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Add the beans, cabbage, and kale.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are very soft and the flavors are blended, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaves and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Remove from heat, add the bread, and allow the soup to rest for at least 30 minutes, or cool completely and refrigerate overnight.

Return the pot to medium heat and bring soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the soup is very thick and dense and heated through {but not dry – add a little water, if necessary} about 20 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the parsley, and stir to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper, and more oil, if necessary.

Ribollita likes garnishes, including grated Parmesan {lots of it} sliced black olives, and torn basil leaves.