Ribollita or Stale Bread Soup from Tuscan Women Cook


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I reviewed the marvelous (affiliate link) Tuscan Women Cook a bit ago on the blog where I made a delicious Rosemary Chicken with Garlic that has been seen many a time since on my dinner table. Today the nonnas are back with a tummy warming stale bread soup. Nothing goes to waste in any good household, right?

You read that correctly! I have made this soup and it is a tasty, hearty delight.

Ribollita – Stale Bread Soup

Serves 8

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Ribollita means “re-boiled” in Italian; another way of saying, “Wow, this will taste even better tomorrow!” When the bread has an extra day or two to absorb even more of the flavorful broth, Ribollita will thicken and taste creamy. Feel free to add your favorite vegetables and herbs to this recipe. There are no hard and fast rules for Ribollita, except to reheat and enjoy, day after day.

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  • 2 cups (14 ounces) dried small white beans, washed
  • Small piece of Parmesan cheese rind
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • 3 large Swiss chard leaves, chiffonade
  • ½ medium white cabbage, chopped
  • 8 pieces dry day-old or toasted Italian bread
  • Parmesan cheese and olive oil for garnish
  • Drain the beans and cover them with fresh water. Add the Parmesan cheese rind. Over medium heat, simmer until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery (soffritto). Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, for about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, the beans, and their cooking liquid. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the chard and cabbage. Add additional water, vegetable, or chicken broth as needed to completely cover the chard and cabbage.
  • Bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Place a piece of bread in each bowl. Ladle the soup on top of the bread. Top each serving of the soup with some Parmesan cheese, a dash of olive oil, and pepper.

Recipe and photo reprinted with permission of www.TuscanWomenCook.com from the Tuscan Women Cook cookbook

The Tuscan Women Cook cookbook is a collection of delicious, shared family recipes from our beautiful nonnas and the wonderful restaurants of Tuscany. But it also contains favorite memories associated with cooking and our glorious days spent in Montefollonico,” Coleen says. 

“Most of these dishes were created centuries before we ever tasted them, refined by each generation of family cooks who adjusted the ingredients to the agricultural and technological changes that inevitably took place with each new branch of every family’s tree.”

Montefollonico (Siena, Tuscany, Italy) – Street of the medieval village

Filled with beautiful photos of Montefollonico and recipes, chapters in Tuscan Women Cook cookbook cover Starters, Soups, Pasta, Meat, Vegetables, Desserts, and Drinks. Want a taste of Tuscany without renewing your passport? Tie on an apron and try delicious and authentic recipes that have been handed down from generations of the best family cooks in Montefollonico, Italy.

For more information on Tuscan Women Cook and their cookbook, visit their website, www.TuscanWomenCook.com.

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