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Ribollita (Twice Baked Tuscan Stew)


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for seasoning
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 cup canned plum tomatoes (Roma), chopped
1 bunch kale, touch center stalks removed, cut into thick strips
1/2 head cabbage
1 bunch spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
3 cups cooked (or canned) canellini beans
leaves from 3 fresh sprigs of thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper
5 slices of day-old country bread, toasted


In a soup pot over medium heat, warm the 1/2 cup olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, and zucchini and saute until vegetables are softened (10-15 min). Stir in the tomatoes and 4 cups water, then add the kale, cabbage, and spinach. Raise the heat to high, bring to a simmer, and reduce the heat to low, and let cook until the greens are tender, about 45 min.

Stir in the beans and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or longer. Add the thyme leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

The following day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 2 quart baking dish with the toasted bread slices and ladle the soup over top. Bake, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon so that the bread slices break apart and blend with the soup, 20-25 mins. Continue baking without stirring until a lightly browned crust forms on top of the soup (5-10 mins longer).

Serve at the table directly from the dish. Season generously with olive oil and freshly ground pepper. Serve with a dry red wine such as Chianti Classico.

From Florence: Authenitc Recipes Celebrating the Foods of the World by Lori De Mori