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The Recipe Box Project

Recipe for ribollita

(Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe)

Serves 8

Jane Ward of Amesbury was served the Italian vegetable and bread soup, ribollita, on an agriturismo stay at a Tuscan farmhouse outside the town San Gimignano. She writes, “I liked it so much I re-created it when I came home and now it is a winter staple.” Ribollita means re-boiled and is best made a day in advance. Many Tuscan cooks make the dish using a bunch of Lacinato kale (central ribs removed, leaves chopped). Add them to the pot with the tomatoes. Ward uses canned tomatoes, along with cannellini beans, and simmers them with fresh sage in vegetable stock. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, and shavings of pecorino or Parmesan.

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6cups vegetable stock
2cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained
5fresh sage leaves
3cloves garlic, 1 clove bruised, 2 cloves finely chopped
4tablespoons olive oil
1medium onion, cut into 1-inch dice
1large carrot, cut into 1-inch dice
1small fennel bulb with fronds, bulb trimmed and diced (save fronds for garnish)
1can (28 ounces) imported whole peeled tomatoes
6slices crusty Italian bread, torn into small pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
1piece (4 ounces) Parmesan (for garnish)
Extra olive oil (for sprinkling

1. In a soup pot, combine 1½ cups of the stock, beans, and sage. Add the slightly bruised clove of garlic to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat, set on the cover askew, and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for 30 minutes. Discard the sage and garlic. Transfer the liquid and solids to a bowl.

2. Wipe out the pot and set it over medium heat. Heat the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic, onion, carrot, and fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften.

3. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the beans, and 3½ cups of the stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.

4. Stir in the bread. Simmer 3 minutes so the bread breaks down. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you like. Remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

5. Meanwhile, chop the fennel fronds.

6. Reheat the soup, adding the remaining stock to thin it to a porridge consistency. Ladle into bowls. Use a vegetable peeler on the Parmesan to shave off pieces and drop them on the soup. Sprinkle with olive oil and chopped fennel fronds. Adapted from Jane Ward

More recipes:

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Correction: Because of a report error, an earlier version incorrectly referred to Ward’s residence.