Did you know that Ribollita means means ‘reboiled’ in Italian? It’s a brilliant concept really; make a large pot of soup at the beginning of the week and then all week long, add leftover meat, vegetables, and bread or pasta from other meals. The soup becomes an ever evolving dish, ready any time for lunch, dinner or a snack.
I’ve made ribollita in a dozen ways: sometimes with potatoes, sometimes without any meat, always with whatever vegetables are in season. This recipe is a good place to start, but then adjust it to make it your own.
Allow the soup to change with the season (as I often do with another favorite Italian soup, Pasta e Fagioli): asparagus and artichokes in the spring; zucchini and green beans in the summer; butternut squash and fennel in the autumn; and, in the winter, cabbage and kale. Give it a try and I predict that, as in many Italian homes, this ‘reboiled’ gem will become a regular item on your weekly menu.
Ribollita with Hot Italian Sausage
- 4 cups coarsely torn day-old bread sourdough or peasant loaf
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided plus more for drizzling at the end
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 carrots finely chopped
- 4 celery ribs finely chopped
- 1 3-ounce jar anchovy fillets packed in oil drained and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage casings removed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch Italian kale sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons
- 1 15-oz can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid
- 2 cups cooked cannellini beans or 1 15-ounce can drained and rinsed
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese shaved
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and arrange torn bread in a single layer. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil; toss with your hands to coat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and anchovies; cook and stir until onion is translucent and anchovies have melted into vegetable mixture, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, sausage and white wine; cook and stir until sausage has cooked through. Add kale, tomatoes, beans, and stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes to an hour.
Divide croutons among 6 bowls and ladle soup over. Serve topped with Parmesan shavings and drizzled with olive oil.