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Italian Cultural Lunch: Ribollita (beans, kale and bread soup)

This recipes makes 6 servings.


Ingredients:

    • Lacinato or Tuscan Kale: 3 bunches, coarsely chopped (remove the thicker/larger part of the stem)
    • Zucchini: 2 medium or 3 small, chopped
    • Golden Onions: 2 medium or 3 small, chopped
    • Carrots: 2 medium or 3 small, chopped
    • Celery: 3 medium sticks, chopped
    • Cannellini Dry Beans: 8 oz  (I use Goya Brand)
    • Roman Dry Beans: 8 oz  (I use Goya Brand)
    • Green Onions: 1 bunch, finely chopped (leave out the small roots and the top end of the leaves)
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 1 cup (I use Berio Brand)
    • Beef Bouillon: 2 cubes  (I use Knorr Brand)
    • Ciabatta Bread: 1 (I use from Wegman’s bakery)
    • Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper: to taste


Directions:

  • In a large bowl, cover the beans with cold water. The water-level should be 1 inch above the beans. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Drain the beans and place them in a large pot with 8 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the beans are tender. Set the beans aside to cool in their liquid.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large stockpot. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables turn golden.
  • Add salt, the pepper, and crushed red pepper plus the bouillon cubes.
  • Add the zucchini and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the zucchini are tender.
  • Add the kale and 2 cups of hot water stirring occasionally, and keep the lid on the pot. The kale will start to lose volume. Continue cooking until it’s tender and almost dry.
  • Drain the beans and add to the pot, keep everything moist with some extra hot water, and let slow boil for another 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Meanwhile cut the loaf in slices and toast in the oven. With this bread, make a layer on the bottom of an oven pan (be sure the pan is large enough to take also all the soup that is in the pot). Gently spread the soup on the bread (you should have left a liquid part that is enough to wet the layer of bread) and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • When the top is almost all crispy baked take it out and serve on plates. Garnish with the finely chopped green onion and another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
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