This fantastic, economical soup is a great way to use delicious seasonal root veg, leeks and kale as well as stale bread which you otherwise might have thrown away. Ribollita literally means ‘reboiled’: traditionally this Italian soup was made in large quantities so it could be reheated on subsequent days. Try using a bag of our very own campus-grown sautéed greens in place of the kale.
- 400g tins cannellini beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 leek, trimmed, washed and finely sliced
- 400g tin plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 600ml vegetable stock
- 1 sprig of rosemary and 1 sprig of thyme, tied together with string
- 200g kale, stalks removed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To finish
- 2 slices of slightly stale countrystyle or sourdough bread
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 3–4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Drain & rinse the beans, then mash or blend half of them with a little cold water.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and gentle fry the onion over a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until softened. Add the carrots, celery and leek and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring. Now add the tomatoes with their juice, the puréed and whole beans, stock, rosemary and thyme, and simmer gently for about 1 hour.
Shred the kale or cabbage leaves. Add to the soup and cook for 10 minutes more. Remove the sprigs of thyme and rosemary and add some salt and pepper.
To serve, toast the slices of bread until golden, then rub with the garlic and brush with olive oil. Put a slice of bread in the base of each bowl, ladle over the soup and trickle some olive oil on top before serving.