Tuscan Spring Bean Soup
Ribollita is a soul-satisfying soup found in the hills of Tuscany, thickened with bread and cooked dried beans. We add loads of fresh spring vegetables and bread bites (be sure to prepare your bread the night before!) to create a thickened minestrone-style soup.
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- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
- 1 red onion, minced
- 1 carrot, minced
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 1 stalk fennel, minced
- 1/2 tsp chile flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 lb kale, chopped
- 1/4 lb rapini (aka broccoli rabe), chopped
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 loaf whole-grain bread (Italian crusty loaf or artisan variety preferred), torn into 1-inch cubes and dried out overnight
- 1/2 cup fava beans, peeled and blanched, optional
- 12 small carrot sticks, peeled, blanched and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces, optional
- 1 cup fresh peas, shucked and blanched, optional (or substitute frozen)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- To make the base: In a rondo with oil on low heat, combine onion, carrot, celery and fennel. Cook until vegetables are just caramelized, about 3 hours. Add chile flakes and garlic and cook for 30 more minutes. Add tomatoes, kale and rapini, and cook until greens are thoroughly wilted, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- One hour before use: Reheat a portion of the base, appropriate to the number of people you are serving (about 1/2 cup per bowl). Add 1 tbsp oil per bowl, a small handful of bread, beans, carrots, peas and parsley (or whatever other seasonal vegetables you have on hand.) Simmer for 15 minutes, adding water when necessary to keep the soup thick but not gummy. Finish soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano and season with salt and pepper
Nutrients per serving (1/2-cup spring bean soup): Calories: 248, Total Fat: 16 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Carbs: 20 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 7 g, Sodium: 201 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg