Ribollita is one of those classic Tuscan dishes which nobody seems to agree on how to make. What they all do concur on is how deliciously warming and comforting it is. A real winter warmer dish to sustain you through the start of the year. Whilst the original is always made with stale bread, I find it as good without it and with the added bonus of freezing better. Crostini or hard bread can always be added before serving to render it more substantial if needed.
350g Dried Cannellini Beans
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Clove of garlic
1 Branch rosemary
2l of Water
180g Peeled tomato
1 Rind of Parmesan
80g White Onion
A pinch of Dried Chilli
Begin by leaving your cannellini beans to soak overnight in water, a full 24 hours is best if you can.
Then add the clove of garlic and the rosemary to a tall saucepan with a little olive oil in the bottom. Cover with water, place a lid on the pan, and cook the beans for around an hour on a medium to low heat.
Remove the rosemary and discard. Remove half the beans and leave to one side. Blend the remaining soup together to make a bean broth.
In a separate pan, make your soffritto by finely chopping your onion, carrots and celery and sweating over olive oil. Once browned, peel and dice your potato, squish your peeled tomatoes, and add to the soffritto.
Remove the heart from the cabbage, roughly shred with a knife, and chop up the chard and kale into slightly larger pieces. Add all to the soffritto with your bean broth, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover, reduce the heat, and leave to simmer for 45 minutes or so.
Once finished, season to taste with salt, pepper, and chilli and add the remaining cannellini beans which you had placed to one side earlier.
Enjoy now, or as I prefer, leave to chill over night in the fridge and reheat the next day for a denser, more warming taste.