Soup Recipe: Ribollita con Verdure

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 4 thick slices pancetta (not smoked) or bacon (smoked), chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium, skinny zucchini, cut into thin slices
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups beef stock or broth
  • 4 cups, (about 1/2 pound), chopped or torn stale bread
  • 2 15 oz. cans Great Northern beans
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and the pancetta or bacon and render 4 minutes. Add rosemary, the garlic, 3/4 of the onions, carrots and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Saute the veggies 7 to 8 minutes, then add wine and deglaze the pot. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and bring up the heat. When soup boils, reduce to a simmer and stir in bread and beans. Pile the spinach into the pot and wilt them into the soup. Simmer the ribollita 5 to 10 minutes, stirring soup as it simmers until it thickens to a dense stew-like consistency. A wooden spoon should be able to stand upright in the pot. Turn off heat, adjust seasonings and ladle into shallow bowls. Top with grated cheese, an additional drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and a spoonful of reserved finely chopped raw onions.

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