Ribollita is an amazing and delicious recipe to try at home. Here is a complete guideline about this mouth-watering recipe so that you can cook it at your home. If there is anything that human beings love doing is eating food and trying new dishes either at home or at restaurants. When was the last time someone refused to eat a delicious and healthy meal? We like to experiment with different ingredients and present a tasteful dish using a bit of expertise, instincts, and following instructions.
There is a unique form of satisfaction when someone has a wide variety of delightful dishes on his/her dining table. Soup is increasingly helpful during cold winters, and when we are sick. You can eat soup with a spoon, but what if there was a way to make things interesting?
A big fat bowl of ‘Ribollita’ is the perfect solution in case you are bored with making soup with old recipes. The traditional soups are tasty, but a bowl of ribollita soup is something that everyone must try once in their life. It is a soup that takes a bit more time to make, uses very few healthy ingredients, and is quite simple to make. Let’s start by understanding what this dish is all about, and how can one make it at home using minimal efforts.
What is Ribollita?
To help you understand the concept of this dish in very few words, ribollita is a form of soup originated from Tuscan, in Italy, which is cooked using a lot of green vegetables and bread. Upon surfing the internet, you may find thousands of variations of this recipe, but the main ingredients are the same in all of them.
It would be best if you stuck to using the essential ingredients to obtain an authentic taste at the end. It is a traditional soup of Tuscan which was often consumed at breakfast by the locals. All a chef needs to do is use a leftover vegetable soup, add some bread to it, and reheat the whole thing to get a breathtaking bowl of ribollita.
It has a creamy texture and uses items like beans, potatoes, kale etc. which are very healthy and contains all the necessary nutrients a human being needs. However, there are a few complications and limitations to making this soup that one must keep in mind. Otherwise, the final dish will not be as tasteful as you would like.
What Do You Need for Ribollita?
If you have been working in a kitchen for a long time, then you must know that nothing can be achieved without a proper set of tools. There is a list of equipment that a chef should gather before beginning to make ribollita. Here’s what you need;
- It would help if you had a ladle which is a big spoon often used to cook soup and stew
- Measuring cups are essential for accurate measurements
- A vegetable peeler or a knife to remove the skin of all the vegetables.
- A sharp chef’s knife is a must for cutting the vegetables properly
- A cutting board should be present
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- A blender or food processor
- It would be best if you had a colander to rinse vegetables and clean them before using
- Dutch oven or a deep iron container for cooking the soup
Most of this equipment should be in your kitchen already if you have been preparing for a long time.
Read More: How to Make Mushroom Risotto at Home?
Moreover, you can always go to the nearby shops and purchase items you need to execute a recipe efficiently.
You can also substitute some of these items according to your preference, but make sure they are fulfilling the same purpose. After gathering the equipment to cook ribollita, the next step is to collect all the right ingredients.
Ingredients for Ribollita Recipe
All the ingredients can easily be purchased from local supermarkets, so you should not have any trouble in gathering them. Here’s what you need;
- Get a one-third cup of extra virgin olive
- A medium-sized potato
- ½ onion
- Garlic cloves
- A carrot
- Celery stalk
- You have to get dried cannellini beans
- One teaspoon of salt
- Get two or three leaves of thyme-sprigs
- A bunch of Lacinato kale which is a traditional ingredient of various Italian dishes
- Get a savoy cabbage (3/4 pound)
- one-third pound of swiss chard
- One tablespoon of tomato paste. You can also use one fresh tomato or get one-third cup of those canned diced tomatoes from the supermarket
- Geta whole wheat stale bread
- Get some fresh ground black pepper for taste
These are the main ingredients that are used for cooking an authentic bowl of ribollita, and you need to stick to these as you are cooking it for the first time. Using additional or replacement ingredients might ruin the overall taste of the dish and demotivate you to make any more.
We know all about the equipment that is necessary to cook this dish, and we have looked at the ingredients one must get from the supermarket. Now it is time to discuss the most crucial step in preparing any dish. Reading the instructions with complete presence of mind and the following everything accordingly is vital to execute the recipe of ribollita with increased perfection.
Let’s look at the steps of cooking ribollita;
- Firstly, you need to get a smaller pot and put all the dried cannellini beans in it. Now pour four cups of cold water along with a half teaspoon of salt and turn on the stove to medium. Let it come to a boil gradually and then turn down the flame of the furnace to lowest covering the pot with its lid. It would take about three and a half hours to cook properly if the beans you placed inside the container were not soaked. You can also use soaked beans in case you wish to reduce the cooking time.
- While the beans are cooking, get the chopping board and chef’s knife to start cutting the vegetables. You need to perfectly chop the onion, celery, and carrot if you want them to cook nicely. Remove the skin from the potato and cut it into small dices. All the other vegetables need to be cut into small cubes or slice according to your preference. Make sure to mince the garlic clove before putting the knife down.
- Use the colander to drain all the water from the beans after they are cooked. Take about three-fourth of the cooked beans and stir them using a blender or food processor according to your feasibility. Take the puree of beans and pour all of them inside the water you collected while draining the beans. This step is completed, and now you can put the puree and remaining beans aside.
- This is a critical step as you have to prepare something called ‘sofrito’ for the soup. Here, you need to pour one-third of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot along with all the celery, carrot, garlic, and onion. Your objective is to sauté these vegetables over medium-high heat from the flame of the stove. It will take a maximum of 7 to 8 minutes during which you should keep stirring. This will help you avoid any burning incidents and give you beautiful golden-coloured vegetables.
- Once you are done with making the sofrito, the next step is to add all the remaining ingredients in the same pot. Put the thyme leaves in along with a half teaspoon of salt and remaining vegetables like a potato. Add the tomato paste, bean puree that you poured in the cooking water, and pour four more cups of cold water inside the pot. Cover the pot and cook it for an hour using low heat settings.
- Now you can add the remainder of the cooked beans and the stale bread inside the pot. Here, you have to make sure to leave the crust on while cutting the bread slice in half before adding them. Let all of this cook for five minutes and do not forget to keep stirring. Turn off the stove after five minutes have passed.
- Now you have to rest the soup for at least a few hours before moving on with the recipe. An ideal resting time would be letting it sit for a night, but you can go with the most suitable option. Now you have to reheat the soup over low heat settings until it comes to a boil.
- Your tasteful pot of ribollita is now ready to serve. You can sprinkle some ground black pepper over it and drizzle a bit of olive oil for taste. The traditional recipe does not include serving with cheese, but you can always make acceptable variations.
Cooking ribollita will take a maximum of five hours, including the time spent on cooking the cannellini beans. This recipe requires your full attention as you must follow all the instructions carefully while taking care of all the details.
Additional Guidelines & Restrictions
Chefs all over the world like to add variations to original recipes to give the dish a unique touch. Earlier, we discussed how there are a few limitations to cooking ribollita if you wish to obtain an authentic taste. Such new ideas are always welcomed, but there are some things you need to refrain from while cooking ribollita. Moreover, there are a few guidelines as well that you should follow while making this Italian dish. Those are as follows;
- The most important thing is to avoid using canned beans as it will ruin the whole taste of the dish
- Don’t add any more tomatoes than instructed as it will give the soup a bright red color which will taste a bit too sweet
- While reheating the soup, please don’t put it in a microwave to save time. The amount of heat it requires can only be provided using a stove’s flame
- Do not add a lot of olive oil and stick to the measurement given in this recipe. If you want, you can drizzle olive oil at the time of serving
- It is necessary to keep the ratio of vegetables and the stale bread equal for an authentic taste
- Another mandatory ingredient to obtain an authentic tasting bowl of ribollita is Lacinato kale. There are other types of kale available at the stores, but the traditional recipe uses Lacinato kale so use that only
- The stew of this fantastic soup can also be kept in the freezer using containers that are manufactured for this purpose. Some people add bread while reheating the soup, but you can do whatever is feasible for you.
These are some common recommendations and restrictions a chef must be aware of before starting to cook ribollita. Taking shortcuts to make such traditional dishes is a bad idea as a single mishap can ruin the whole meal.
Not only will you be wasting ample amount of time, but you will also be spending a significant amount of money on the ingredients. You can try new variations, but only when you have gained sufficient experience in making ribollita. Stick to this recipe and use these guidelines while preparing it for the first time.
Health Benefits of Eating Ribollita
This dish is full of fresh green vegetables and beans, which means that eating it will provide with a lot of proteins. Moreover, ribollita is a perfect dish for someone who is on a diet and wish to lose some weight. It is a vegetarian meal that helps in controlling high cholesterol and blood pressure. Ribollita offers you a way of losing unwanted fat without having to stick to some boring diet plans.
There are plenty of other nutrients in this dish that enables you to stay healthy and eat as much as you want.
Making ribollita is a task for someone patient as it takes quite a long time to finish the whole process. Nevertheless, the result is promising and delivers everything you would expect from an Italian dish. It has a very promising taste and offers you an exciting way of eating all the healthy vegetables that you would otherwise avoid.