Mario Batali’s Real Ribollita
As you might expect, this is a classic version of the delicious Italian soup, which uses every bit of the chard and kale (no tossing of the stems here!), day-old bread, and beans and vegetables cooked until they’ve rendered all of their flavor and become super tender. Olive oil plays a key role, so use the best you have and don’t be shy.
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- 1 red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
- Salt and pepper*
- 2 ounces carrots
- 2 ounces celery
- 4 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 4 ounces Swiss chard
- 4 ounces lacinato kale
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 4 ounces day-old country bread
- *not included
Trim, peel, and chop the onion; chop the garlic, reserving half a clove for the toast. Put 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onions and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until they’re soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
Rinse, dry, and trim the carrots and celery; peel the carrots. Scrub, dry, and trim the potatoes; peel them if you’d like. Chop all the vegetables, adding them to the pot as you work and stirring to keep them from burning. Add the tomatoes and 2 cups water. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat so it bubbles gently.
Rinse, dry, and trim the chard and kale. Strip the leaves from the center ribs. Chop the ribs, add them to the pot, and stir. Cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces, add them to the soup, and return the soup to a boil.
Lower the heat so the soup bubbles gently, cover, and cook, stirring once and checking to make sure it’s at a steady bubble, until the vegetables are soft and the soup has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes more. Drain and rinse the beans in a colander and add them to the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning, cover, and keep warm over low heat.
Cut the bread into 2 thick slices and toast them until browned on both sides. Put a slice in each soup bowl, drizzle each slice with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and rub with the cut side of the reserved garlic. To serve, ladle the soup over the toast and drizzle each bowl with another 1 1/2 teaspoons oil.