- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
- 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 3-4 small ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 3-4 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- 7-8 leaves sage, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 can cannellini beans (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale (aka lacinato), leaves stripped and very thinly sliced (dinosaur kale or Swiss chard are fine to use as well)
- A few grates of nutmeg
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 piece of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind
- 5-6 slices (each about 1/2-inch thick) stale peasant bread or crusty white bread, torn into pieces
- 1 small white or red onion, finely chopped
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to pass at table
Heat a large Dutch oven with the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaf and season with salt, pepper, rosemary and sage. Sauté for 15 minutes to develop the flavors and color.
Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 30 seconds, then add the wine and let it evaporate, about 1 minute. Add the beans and greens and season with a little nutmeg. Add the stock, water and the cheese rind. Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a low, rolling boil, about 10 minutes.
Add the bread pieces to the soup and stir for a few minutes to break it up. The ribollita is done when a wooden spoon can stand straight up in the soup.
To serve, ladle the ribollita into shallow bowls and garnish with a generous drizzle of EVOO, finely chopped raw onion and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.