I still had some celery stalks in my fridge that needed to be used up. So, I did what any woman in dire need of a recipe would do; I confiscated a friend’s cookbook.
While flipping through the pages I happened upon this recipe and just knew I had to make it. What is Ribollita? It’s an Tuscan country soup and literally translated it would mean “reboiled”. Apparently this soup was born out of need for poor people needing a nourishing yet affordable meal made form left-overs. Hence the name reboiled.
I didn’t use leftovers, though, I had to make do with what was in my fridge. Also, the original recipe actually let’s you add stale bread to the soup. I took a slightly different route. Perfect soup for cleaning out your vegetable drawer!
4 celery stalks
1 large onion
1 medium potato
2 large garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes (14oz)
1 can white beans (14oz)
3 cups of water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
few drops tabasco
4 tbsp oil
Strange, I only like celery in my soup. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the strings. Chop the stalks!
Peel the carrots and slice them.
Grate the garlic and reserve 1/2 a grated garlic clove.
Dice the onion.
Peel, wash and cube the potato. I mainly add potato to thicken the soup.
Two important ingredients: 14 oz cans diced tomatoes and white beans.
Rinse the white beans.
Heat 2 tbsp oil and sautee the celery, carrots, onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Remember to reserve 1/2 a grated garlic clove!
Add the cubed potato. Pour in 3 cups of water. Add the diced tomatoes, a few drops tabasco, a splash of worcestershire sauce (there’s also a vegetarian version) and crumble 2 chicken bouillon cubes in there.
Note: vegetarians can replace the chicken bouillon with vegetable bouillon cubes, of course. No, I don’t do that to begin with because I’m not a vegetarian and actually prefer the flavor of chicken bouillon.
Mix it up, bring to a boil, put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.
Rather than adding bread to the soup (did that in my Sweet onion & bread soup already) I decided to serve crunchy garlic bread slices on the side. Combine the remaining garlic with 2 or 3 tbsp oil, a really good pinch of pepper, some salt and dried parsley.
We kinda like (semi) dark bread here. As a matter of fact, my son doesn’t even care for white bread.
Slice the bread and brush each slice with a little garlic oil. Not too much. It’s supposed to be a healthy meal! Also preheat your grill.
Chop a really good handful of flat-leaf parsley.
After 20 minutes it’s time for your white beans to take a swim. Add them, and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Also add 1/2 of your chopped parsley. Simmer the soup for an additional 10 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, pop the bread slices under a hot grill and bake until brown and crispy. For about 5 minutes, give or take a minute.
Once the soup is done, stir in the remaining flat-leaf parsley. Check the seasoning and serve with one slice of bread in each bowl and the remaining slices on the side.
This soup is much lighter, fresher almost, than you would imagine by looking at it. It’s a really simple, tasty, healthy and cheap soup! Rustic, even. Rustic is good, rustic is very good. And the Italians totally get that.
Kay’s Recipe Card
Click here for printable size.