Italian Bean and Rustic Bread Soup
Ribollita is a traditional (peasant) Tuscan soup whose name translates as ‘reboiled’. Traditionally it sits on the stove for a few days, being reheated and dipped into whenever one is hungry, and it develops amazing flavor. Tradtionally the soup has stale bread added to thicken it. With this recipe you put dried rustic bread cubes or my favorite, croutons on the bottom of your bowl and then ladle on the soup. It is intensly flavorful, filling and just wonderful, really. It tastes so fresh and wholesome!
*These are the croutons that I use–they are great for this soup!
submitted by Melanie
1/4 c olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 leek, washed very carefully and chopped–I added this last time and it was great!!
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can Italian tomatoes, crushed or pureed
6-8 cups chicken broth
2 15oz cans great northern beans (don’t drain)
salt to taste (or bouillon)
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough ends removed, green leaves coarsely chopped (spinach or kale will work as well but Swiss chard is best)
Dried rustic bread cut in cubes or flavored croutons (Costco Fresh Gourmet Roasted Garlic Focaccia croutons are great!)
fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
In a heavy dutch oven, or stockpot heat oil. Add onion, carrot, leek and celery. Cook on low heat, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, broth, beans, salt and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add Swiss chard and cook uncovered until chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve by putting bread cubes or croutons in bottom of bowl. Spoon soup over bread and sprinkle with cheese.