Tuscan cuisine is known for its elegant simplicity. The abundance of vegetables and extra virgin olive oil in the region are the perfect catalysts for recipes like Tuscan bean and bread soup, known in Italian as ribollita.
Traditionally, the soup tastes best after being reheated for two or three days (ribollita means 'reboiled'). A good ribollita recipe will call for three essential ingredients: Tuscan bread, cannellinni beans and Tuscan kale. All of these ingredients - along with fresh herbs and a few other vegetables - come together beautifully in a hearty soup that feeds the stomach and the soul.
If you'd like to try your hand at making Tuscan ribolitta we encourage you to try this recipe from restaurant Antica Osteria da Divo in Siena.
RIBOLLITA TOSCANA: THE RECIPE OF OSTERIA BY DIVO DI SIENA
Ingredients for 4 people:
1 stalk of celery
1 clove of garlic
1/2 head of cabbage
1 bundle of black cabbage (also known as Tuscan kale)
1 bunch of chard
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
100 g of cooked Cannellini beans
2 slices of stale Tuscan bread
1. Wash and dice the carrot, celery and onion. Peel the garlic and combine with the cut vegetables. Cook in a saucepan with olive oil for about 15-20 minutes on a moderate flame.
2. Meanwhile wash and julienne the cabbage, black cabbage, chard and zucchini. Add the vegetables to the saucepan. Stir to combine then add salt and pepper, followed by the finely chopped sage and rosemary. Cook for an hour on medium heat.
3. Add the cooked cannellini beans and the diced Tuscan bread to the saucepan. Bring to a boil everything then turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the flavor with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve hot and top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.