Online pal Nicole Krakora writes with what looks to be an amazing ribollita recipe:
As promised, here is the recipe that I use as a starting point. I jotted it down while we were making it in Tuscany, so I usually just use the measurements listed as a guide and sometimes add more or less of items depending on my mood. I also look at the market and add whatever other vegetables are in season (peas, parsnips, etc.). The basic idea is to make a bean broth and add a variety of vegetables to make a hearty dish.
Also, I usually double the beans called for in the recipe. Then I pass ½ of the beans and liquid through a food mill and leave the other ½ whole so there are whole beans in the soup as well. Borlotti beans are traditional for this dish, but I like to make a blend of whatever meaty beans I have on hand to shake things up a bit.
I also add a rind from some Parmigiano-reggiano to the soup pot to add some additional depth of flavor.
Use the very best quality olive oil you can find, since you will be drizzling it into the soup when you serve it.
This is a really hearty soup and is just so flavorful. It freezes very well. Buon appetito!!
Zuppa Alla Frantoiana o Ribollita
Olive Presser’s Soup (Ribollita)
(Recipe by Sandra Lotti – Toscana Saporita cooking school, Italy)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 medium carrots, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium onions, minced
2 leeks, white part only, minced
10 fresh sage leaves
8 leaves Swiss chard, stalks removed and roughly chopped
1 small head savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
10 leaves black kale, stalks removed and roughly chopped
6 ounces canned Italian (San Marzano) plum tomatoes, shredded and with liquid reserved
2 celery stalks, diced
2 small carrots, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
1 cup freshly shelled peas (if available)
2 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
3 leaves fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 pounds butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into small chunks
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 pounds dried borlotti or cranberry beans, soaked overnight, drained and cooked in water along with 1 clove garlic, 1 red onion, and fresh sage, add salt after beans are tender
freshly ground nutmeg
slices of peasant style bread
very best quality extra virgin olive oil
- Cook beans in water with 1 clove garlic, 1 red onion and fresh sage until tender. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-gauge pot over low heat. Add the minced carrot, celery, onion, garlic, leeks, and sage, and cook, stirring frequently until translucent, about 10 minutes. This is your base (or soffritto).
- Add the cabbage, black kale, Swiss chard, canned tomatoes and stir until well blended. Cook for 10 minutes, covered.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients, except for the salt, pepper, thyme, nutmeg and bread. Increase the heat to medium, cover and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, pass the beans and their liquid through a food mill and add the mash to the soup pot. Cook for another hour over low heat, covered. Stir occasionally.
- Check salt and pepper and season to taste. Add freshly grated nutmeg to taste.
- Serve hot over sliced peasant bread and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-reggiano.
Serves 4. Leftover Ribollita can be frozen up to 2 months.