It feels like coming back from Italy was the biggest mistake we possibly could have made. Like the universe is kicking us a bit for making such a foolish decision.
The heat in our house hasn’t been working for 9 of the last 15 days. Kick.
The entire backyard is covered in a thick blanket of leaves and two weekends wasn’t really enough to clean it up before they stop collecting greens. Kick.
Laundry and other household chores have fallen behind thanks to lethargy/cold. Kick.
It doesn’t feel like Christmas.
The only good thing is that I came back from the trip very inspired to explore Tuscan and Florentine cuisine more deeply. I’ve got high hopes for it as everything else I’ve made has been great so far (chestnut flour gnocchi and pappa al pomodoro). I’ve got plans for a panforte, baccalà, and fegatini (chicken liver pate) later this week.
When I was looking for a recipe for ribollita, it was hard to find something that felt quite right. Every restaurant and each cook has their own version of ribollita, much like many other Italian dishes. There is a general consensus on bread, kale, and beans. But differences in quality and consistency cover the board. I knew I wanted to be able to tell what was in the soup and that I like a little tomato in mine. Of course, you can adapt it to your own tastes.
Ribollita (Tuscan Bread Soup)
Adapted from many recipes and differences versions I have tried
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
4-6 c water
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
14 oz can cannellini beans
1/4 c tomato puree
1/4 lb (110g) stale bread, cubed
Salt, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for serving
In a large pot, saute onions, garlic, and carrots in olive oil. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened.
Add enough water to cover vegetables and kale to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Add beans, tomato puree, and bread. Continue cooking on low heat until bread is very soft, about 15 minutes. If soup is becoming too thick, add additional water.
Season with salt to taste. Serve topped with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.