This traditional Italian soup was once considered peasant food but has become fashionable over the years. It usually contains stale bread but in this recipe the bread has been removed, making the dish very handy for dieters. Ribollita literally means "reboiled", and it freezes and reheats perfectly.
● 1 tbsp olive oil
● 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
● 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
● 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
● 2 sticks celery, peeled and chopped
● 2 large courgettes, peeled if skin is thick, and chopped
● 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
● Pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
● 500g fresh ripe tomatoes
● 400g freshly chopped kale
● 2 x 175g tinned beans (borlotti, flageolet or cannelloni), rinsed and drained
● 2½ litres vegetable stock
● 25g freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
● 25g basil leaves, roughly torn
● Gently sweat the onions in the oil and when soft, add the crushed garlic. Keep stirring until the onions are golden.
● Add the carrots, celery, courgettes and vegetable stock with the tinned tomatoes and chilli flakes.
● Simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the kale and continue simmering.
● After 15 minutes, add the fresh tomatoes finely chopped - skin them if you wish but the fibre is valuable.
● Finally add the beans and the herbs, stirring carefully so the beans do not break up. Season to taste.