Ribollita is a traditional Tuscan soup, made with cabbage, cannellini beans and stale bread. Each family has its own recipe with many variations, but always the distinctive flavour of cabbage and beans.
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500g cannellini beans, soaked in water for 12 hours
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
300g black Tuscan cabbage or kale, roughly chopped
After soaking, drain and rinse the beans and place in a large pot. Cover with water, add a pinch of salt and cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours on medium to low heat. (If using a pressure cooker, cook for 1 hour from the first whistle.)
Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Set aside half of the cannellini. Puree the remaining beans in the pot.
In a large saucepan over low heat, add the oil and cook carrot, onion and celery until soft, without burning.
Add chopped potatoes, cabbages and chard to the saucepan, together with pureed cannellini beans, half of the reserved cooking liquid and the passata. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Season to taste.
Add the reserved cannellini beans and the remaining cooking liquid and cook 15 minutes longer.
Remove from heat, let stand for 15 minutes.
Chop the bread and add to the soup, a few pieces at a time so it soaks up the liquid and gets soft. At the same time, the soup will become thicker.
Bring the soup back to boiling, then turn off the heat. Drizzle with some Tuscan extra virgin olive oil and serve.