Tuscan White Bean and Bread Soup (Ribollita)
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Taken from The Best International Recipe, posted for safekeeping. Do not use sliced sandwich bread in place of the crusty bread. If necessary, substitute chard for the kale.
- Ready In:
- 6 cups ciabatta, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 bunch kale, thick stems and leaves separated, stems chopped fine, and leaves sliced into 1-inch-thick strips (about 1 pound)
- 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- ground black pepper
- grated parmesan cheese, for serving
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Spread the bread cubes out over a rimmed baking sheet and bake until dried but not browned, about 30 minutes; set aside.
- Process half the beans and 1/4 cup sof the water in a food processor until mostly smooth, about 12 pulses, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed; set aside.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add carrots, onion, kale stems, and 1/2 teaspoons salt and cook until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomatoes and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in pureed beans, remaining whole beans, remaining water, kale leaves, potato, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until potato is tender, about 40 minutes.
- Stir in rosemary sprig and 2 cups of dried bread cubes into the soup, cover, and let stand off the heat until the bread is soggy and falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Discard rosemary sprig and bay leaves and stir to break up bread pieces and thicken the soup.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide remaining bread cubes among individual bowls and ladle thickened soup over the top.
- Drizzle olive oil over top of each portion and serve, passing out the Parmesan cheese separately.
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