Friday, February 15, 2013


The word ribollita literally means reboiled. Nick, Brittany, and I were pondering the meaning of the word last night while I made this hearty Italian soup. Then I finally gave in and looked it up at work today on Wikipedia. Also, according to Wikipedia the soup consists of inexpensive vegetables, white beans, and stale bread. All of which I had plenty lying around the apartment. The original recipe is from 101 Cookbooks.
I made this soup on Valentine's day because I was impatient while waiting for Nick to come over and make me a surprise dinner (French lentils). It worked out because I didn't have any celery and convienently Nick did. He even brought fresh thyme--better than flowers. We ended up having 2 main courses instead which was ok with me!

3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small carnival squash, seeded, peeled, and chopped (carrots could be used instead)
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/3 head small red cabbage, sliced thinly
1 entire head garlic, minced (I still have a ton of garlic from the Pittsburgh Project Farm)
1-26 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 can cannelini beans
1 can garbanzo beans
4-5 slices stale bread (I used super stale spelt bread that was way in the back of our refrigerator)
7 large leaves of lacinato kale (dinosaur kale), sliced thinly
grated lemon zest
fresh thyme

In a large soup pot, combine the celery, winter squash, red onion, and cabbage and drizzle with olive oil. Let cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes until softened and more translucent.

Add the tomatoes and garlic and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Add the can of cannelini beans and about 3 cups of water. You can add as much water as you want, but I like a really thick soup.
Bring the soup to a boil. While this is happening, blend the chickpeas with their canned liquid in a food processor until smooth.

Then tear the bread into little chunks. Once the soup is boiling, add the blended beans, shredded bread, and lacinato kale.

Simmer for about 15 minutes until the kale is tender and the bread breaks down. The bread adds some great texture to the soup.

I served the soup with plenty of fresh thyme on top and grated lemon zest. I would not skip out on the lemon zest; it adds the perfect touch to this delicious soup.

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