Ribollita Tuscan Bread & Bean Minestrone

With the wonderful cozy fall weather, why not learn to make the ultimate Tuscan comfort food: Ribollita. Made from delicious veggies, white cannellini beans and day old Tuscan bread, the Ribollita is a Tuscan staple on any menu and one of our favorites at MaMa Florence Cooking School straight from the cucina povera (peasant kitchen) tradition.

Ribollita Tuscan Bread & Bean Minestrone Recipe
4 servings

Ingredients:
One head of Tuscan kale
½ head of savoy cabbage (verza)
2 medium sized potatoes
400 g cannellini beans cooked (200g dry)
2 celery sticks
1 carrot
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
300 g day-old bread
250 g canned diced tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Salt, as needed
Sage and Rosemary, as needed
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, as desired

Leave the cannellini beans to soak in water for at least 8 hours, then rinse and put into a pot, covering the beans completely with water. Bring to a boil and add a little salt, a few sage leaves and olive oil. Cook the beans for an hour or more, until soft (water can be added while cooking if necessary).

Next dice the celery and carrot, finely chop the onion and garlic, and put all four ingredients into a pot with olive oil and rosemary and simmer together for several minutes creating a traditional Italian soffritto (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofrito) After the mixture begins to have a nice color, add the Tuscan kale and savoy cabbage both cut julienne style, then the potatoes cut into small cubes and the canned diced tomatoes. Add some salt and stir slowly, letting the vegetables gently cook and absorb the flavor.

Now you will divide the cannellini beans in two parts by adding half the beans and nearly all the cooking water to the vegetable pot. Blend the remaining beans with an immersion blender until fairly smooth without allowing it to overly thicken, and then set aside.

Cook the vegetables along with the beans for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, you can add water if it gets too thick while cooking. Once all the vegetables are well cooked, add in the cannellini bean cream, as well as the day-old bread torn or cut into small chunks and stir slowly until well mixed. Leave the Ribollita to rest for at least 30 minutes and then serve hot in individual bowls with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and dusting of Parmigiano Reggiano grated cheese.