While cooler days always take a little getting used to, we embrace the opportunity to switch things up in the kitchen. Hearty flavourful dishes are a welcome comfort on chilly autumn evenings. Ribollita epitomizes Tuscan thrift. It’s a truly simple soup that’s stick-to-your-ribs good and naturally plant-based. Its flavours intensify over time, so make your ribollita a day or two in advance for the tastiest result. In Italian, the literal translation is ‘re-boiled’ so Ribollita ain’t ever gonna be a fancy soup. It is however, delicious, nutritious, simple and inexpensive.
We recommend pairing a bowl of hearty ribollita with a glass of 2015 Big Nose Red; a similarly robust blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS Makes enough soup to feed 6 very hungry people
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
400g can of chopped tomatoes
250ml vegetable stock
250g can of cannellini (white kidney beans)
2 bay leaves
2-3 all spice berries
4-6 thick slices of stale sourdough bread, torn into chunks (toast the slices if the bread is fresh)
2-3 handfuls of kale leaves, roughly torn
salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, and celery and fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the tomato concentrate and continue to fry for a minute of two. Next, add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaves and all spice berries. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat until the soup is simmering gently. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, uncovered.
- Add the can of cannellini beans, the kale and the sourdough chunks. Season and stir well. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes until you have a thick and aromatic soup. When the soup is ready you can either serve it straight away, or chill it for reheating later. Ribollita freezes well and is a great freezer stand-by for cold winter nights.
- Serve steaming hot, garnished with chopped parsley, olive oil and some thinly sliced red onion.