While this recipe requires more work than Pappa al Pomodoro, a bowl of Ribollita will reward you with a warm winter belly. If you like spending hours in the kitchen, this is the recipe for you. If not, pay close note to the time-saving shortcut below!
This recipe hails from Gabriella's Journal; a book celebrating aromas and flavors from the rustic culture of Tuscany.
~ ~ ~ RIBOLLITA ~ ~ ~
2-3 cups (~300 grams) | dried haricot beans*
10 tablespoons | olive oil (EVOO)
2 medium | onions, chopped
15 tablespoons | tomato puree
4-1/4 cups | tepid water
4 | carrots, chopped
3 | celery sticks, chopped3 | zucchini (courgettes), chopped
to taste | salt
4 | potatoes, cut into 1/2" pieces
3 bundles | chard, finely chopped
4-1/2 cups (~200 grams) | stale bread
to season | garlic cloves, sliced
to taste | freshly ground black pepper
What To Do:
1. Boil the beans in 2 litres of water for 3 hours. OR, follow my super-Texan-short-cut below*!
2. Heat the oil in a soup pot, add onion and brown, until soft.
3. Add the tomato puree, water, carrot, celery, zucchini and salt. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the potatoes and chard then cook for about 2 hours. Maybe watch a movie? Stir here and there.
5. Toast the stale bread and rub it with the sliced garlic.
6. In a deep saucepan, form alternate laters of bread, beans and vegetable soup and boil again for another 2 hours. (Sorry, it's not me, it's the recipe!)
7. Serve in terracotta pots adding EVOO atop, at the end!
1. If you don't have any 2-3 day old stale bread, you can cut fresh bread into bite-sized squares and place into your oven for a few minutes at 225°F until crunchy. Do not use soft bread for this recipe!
2. A word about "haricot beans" ~ We have yet to find these while in Italy. They are known in the USA as the Navy Bean. We substituted corona beans, which are tasty and readily available canned, so we were able to eliminate 3 hours of boiling from this recipe! More bean info here.
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