Here’s a classic Tuscan peasant dish using beans and day old bread. The vegetables listed below are just a guide. Kale, chard, cabbage and potatoes would all work well. This is a great way to clean out your vegetable drawer and cook anything on its way out. Also, it’s even better the next day. Super thick by then, so you may want to add a bit more broth. But, I like it thick.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 12 – 16 ounce package of frozen spinach, (or fresh, large stems removed)
6 slices day old bread, about half a loaf (preferably homemade, or good quality store bought artisan)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1-15 ounce can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 – 15 ounce can tomatoes, pureed
1 – 15 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large heavy pot
Food processor or blender
Wash and cut all of your vegetables and puree one can of tomatoes. Rinse and drain your beans. Slice your bread.
Place a large pot over medium high heat and add ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.
Add the minced garlic clove, chopped onion, chopped carrot, and chopped celery. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and sauté until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the 1 package frozen spinach, the pureed tomatoes, the bite sized tomato pieces with the juice, and the Cannellini beans. Cook for 5 minutes to allow the spinach to defrost and heat up and the flavors to meld. Crush some of the beans a bit with the wooden spoon.
Add the 4 cups vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
Now add the bread slices. I like to tear them up a bit as I add them in. Simmer gently for another 35 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the bread starts dissolving a bit and the Ribollita thickens. It should have a porridge-like consistency. Add a bit more liquid (vegetable broth or water) if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
Taste for seasoning and add fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve in individual soup bowls with extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top.