Ribollita means re-boiled. It used to be a soup made out of leftovers, but everyone likes it so much that it is made fresh by all and eaten that day. It does taste best though, if you make it in the morning, let it rest all day and eat it for dinner. Anyway, (I am digressing), this is a real Weaver Street Market recipe! I never saw Lacinato Kale before I came here. Florentines call it "Black Cabbage" and it is one of their favorite vegetables because you eat it in a soup with cannellini beans (which is another Florentine favorite). This recipe is typically Tuscan and it is delicious. If you are vegetarian, use vegetable boullion. If you only eat chicken, use chicken stock. Beef stock, beef and chicken stock; fresh, canned or from a boullion cube - you decide. I use a beef and chicken stock from dark meat chicken (skin and bones) mixed with beef (meat and bones of any kind), carrots, celery, onions, salt and pepper. Let's get started. . .
- One bunch lacinato kale chopped
- 1/2 small savoy cabbage chopped
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans
- one carrot finely chopped
- one stalk celery finely chopped
- one big onion finely chopped
- 3 quarts broth
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh, hand-grated parmigiano cheese
- 2 tbl salt and pepper to taste
- day old ciabatta or Country bread
In a soup pot, start by sautéing the onion, carrot, celery with salt and pepper in about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Add the kale, and keep stirring. Add the cabbage and keep stirring. Add the broth and turn the heat up. When the soup starts to boil, add about a cup of the cannellini beans. Cover and simmer. About an hour later, add another cup of beans. These should be thickening up your soup by now. After 2 hours, taste the "black cabbage" if it is soft and tender then your ribollita is cooked. If not, keep cooking until it is tender. When your soup is done, add the last handful of beans. Serve this in a bowl with yesterday's bread broken up into pieces on the bottom. An Italian would never eat soup without a starch in it! Sometimes it is rice, sometimes barley, most times it is pasta, but the Ribollita is served over old bread. Add a thimble full of extra virgin olive oil on top before serving. You may also add some freshly ground pepper. Last, but not least, add as much fresh, hand-grated parmigiano cheese as you like, and stir (I use about 2 tablespoons). This will not be a soupy soup. It will be almost solid.
And remember - cook with love AND DON'T BE CHEAP!