Tuscan Ribollita Soup
This delicious and heartwarming peasant soup made of leftover vegetables, bread and cannellini beans, will virtually transport you to the heart of Chianti. Have fun creating this soup and click here to read about my inspiration for the recipe.
Serves 6 to 8
1 1/4 cups cannellini beans
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 oz. pancetta, 1/4" dice
1/2 stalk celery, 1/4" dice
3 carrots, peeled, 1/2" dice
1/2 head Savoy cabbage or cavolo nero, 1" dice
1 leek, 1/2" dice
3 potatoes, 1/2" dice
1 onion 1/4" dice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
6 thin slices coarse-textured white bread
salt and freshly ground pepper
fruity extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Pick over the beans and discard any stones. Soak the beans in a large bowl of water for four hours. Drain the beans, place in a saucepan and cover with water by 2-inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Strain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid. Reserve half of the beans. Place the remaining beans in the blender or food processor and process until smooth, adding bean liquid as necessary. Reserve.
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is light golden, 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, cabbage, leeks, potatoes, onions, tomato paste and cover by 1" with the chicken stock and water. Simmer until the vegetables are very soft, 1 hour.
Add the beans and simmer 5 minutes. Add the bread and stir together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool one hour or overnight.
To serve, bring to a boil. Serve immediately drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with cheese.