Healthy Recipe for Ribollita Soup
“Many, many versions of this soup. My version replaces the bread with whole barley, red or wild rice. Traditionally, Ribollita uses cavelo nero kale – a beautiful black cabbage. I use a combination of savoy cabbage, kale, spinach or chard. I have been making this soup on these cold and drippy days. It sits on the stove and we go back and forth, filling our bowls, our tummies and warming our hands”, explains Stacey.
(serves 4 with second helpings)
- 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight plus water for cooking
- 1 tablespoon of oil/ghee
- 1/2 dried chilli, crumbled
- small handful of fresh sage
- a 5 cm sprig of fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs of lemon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- 1 small white cabbage, shredded
- 1/4 cup barley, rinsed
- 6/7 cups of water/ vegetable stock
- 1 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes & 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (or 200g tin good-quality peeled tomatoes)
- Grind end of parmesan piece
- bunch of cavelo nero kale, thick stalks removed, roughly chopped or fresh spinach/chard
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Drain the beans and place them in a heavy-based saucepan. Generously cover with water, add a pinch of baking soda and simmer over a low heat for an hour.
Heat the ghee or oil in a large cooking pot over a low heat. Add the dried chilli, bay leaves, fresh sage, rosemary and thyme. Cook for a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to open up.
Now add the celery, carrots, potato, and barley/rice. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the cabbage, tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
Stir in the beans with their water, add the parmesan rind if using. Cover and cook for an hour or more, adding water if needed until the vegetables and beans are really soft. Add a generous pinch of salt and a few good grindings of black pepper.
Remove from heat and allow to sit for an hour to improve the flavours. Reheat and stir in the kale or spinach. Ladle into warm bowls and generously drizzle with a bright green, rich, peppery olive oil.