Ribollita is one of the most famous and loved dishes of Tuscan cuisine. This rustic and flavorful soup has a fascinating history and culinary tradition that dates back centuries. In this article, we will explore what Ribollita is and how it is born, diving into its rich history and discovering how to prepare it.
It is a Tuscan soup made with bread and vegetables. The name “Ribollita” comes from its traditional preparation, in which the dish is boiled again to heat it and improve its flavor. This dish is a perfect example of cooking, where leftovers are transformed into a delicious dish.
The History of Ribollita:
The history of Ribollita dates back to ancient times, when Tuscan farmers had to find creative ways to use the ingredients available to them. During the cold season, when vegetables were plentiful but meat was scarce, farmers cooked this nutritious soup.
Ribollita is said to have its roots in ancient Rome, where it was prepared with stale bread, vegetables and spices. Over the centuries, this recipe has been adapted and modified, becoming a typical dish of Tuscan cuisine.
The Key Ingredients of Ribollita:
Stale bread: Tuscan bread without salt is ideal, but you can also use other varieties of stale bread.
Vegetables: Traditionally, Ribollita includes kale (Tuscan kale), cannellini beans, tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions.
Extra virgin olive oil: Tuscan olive oil is essential to give the soup an authentic flavor.
Vegetable broth: To add flavor and texture to the soup.
Spices and flavourings: Garlic, rosemary and sage are common for flavoring Ribollita.
How to prepare Tuscan Ribollita:
Start by making a sauté with olive oil, garlic, onion, celery and carrots.
Add the black cabbage cut into thin strips and cook until wilted.
Add the peeled tomatoes and the cannellini beans (previously cooked).
Add the vegetable broth and bring the soup to a boil.
Add thinly sliced stale bread on top of the soup.
Let simmer until the bread disintegrates and the soup becomes thick and creamy.
To serve, bring the soup back to the boil and add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Ribollita is often served with a sprinkling of grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
Tuscan Ribollita Today:
Today, Ribollita is an iconic dish of Tuscan cuisine and is prepared in homes and restaurants throughout the region. It’s an authentic dining experience that transports you back in time, celebrating the traditional cuisine and ingenuity of Tuscan farmers.
Preparing and enjoying a delicious Ribollita is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in Tuscan culture and savor the authentic flavors of this fascinating region. Don’t hesitate to try this delicacy the next time you visit Tuscany or want to bring a piece of its culinary tradition into your kitchen. Enjoy your meal!