Prep 2 hrs
Cook 2 hrs
In '1,000 Italian Recipes' by Michele Scicolone
- 4 cups homemade chicken broth (or a mix of half store-bought broth and half water) or 4 cups meat broth (or a mix of half store-bought broth and half water)
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tender celery ribs, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1⁄2 lbs peeled seeded chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1 1/2 c. canned Italian peeled tomatoes with their juice, chopped)
- 3 cups drained cooked cannellini beans
- 2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 lb cabbage (about 4 cups) or 1 lb kale, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
- fresh ground black pepper
- 8 ounces day-old Italian bread, thinly sliced
- extra-virgin olive oil
- red onion, very thin slices (optional)
- Prepare the broth, if necessary.
- Then, pour the olive oil in a large pot.
- Add the celery, carrots, garlic, onion, and herbs.
- Cook, stirring frequently over medium heat until the celery and other aromatics are tender and golden, about 20 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.
- Stir in the beans, remaining vegetables, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the broth and water to just cover.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Cook gently, over very low heat, until the vegetables are tender, about 2 hours.
- Let cool slightly.
- When ready to serve, pour about 4 cups of the soup into a blender or food processor.
- Puree the soup, then transfer it to a pot along with the remaining soup; reheat gently.
- Choose a soup tureen or pot large enough to hold the bread and soup.
- Place a layer of bread slices on the bottom.
- Spoon on enough of the soup to cover the bread completely.
- Repeat layering until all the soup is used and the bread is soaked.
- Let stand at least 20 minutes; it should be very thick.
- Stir the soup to break up the bread.
- Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the red onion.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.