Lovingly known as “mangiafagioli” (roughly translated to bean-eaters), Tuscans love their white beans. And many other fresh or dried beans, really. So much so that they use them in a large variety of dishes all year round. Cavolo nero (a species of kale) is also one of their favourite ingredient. Ribollita gracefully marries those two staple Tuscan ingredients, making it a legend in the culinary world. It is a simple dish, that only requires a handful of ingredients – and I believe that this makes it even more special. It is also another great way of using stale bread – just as it is the case of Panzanella or other typical Tuscan dishes.
Ribollita (meaning re-boiled) is what you would call a thick soup, that can easily be considered a main course due to its rich consistency. I especially love it in the autumn, when I am craving for comfort food, and spending my evenings thinking about glorious holidays on the sunny Tuscan Riviera. Ribollita is best served hot, with a bit of extravirgin olive oil on top. A handful of grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese also works well, although this option is not suitable for vegetarians. I like making enough Ribollita to last for two days. After a night in the fridge, the flavours have time to get together and this makes the soup even tastier.