Ribollita means "reboiled" in Italian and is a result of reheating leftover minestrone-like soup from day 1 with stale bread to create a thick, hearty potage on day 2. On day 3 you can take it even one step further and pan fry any leftover soup into crispy fritters! All of the flavors of the soup are distilled into solid form with the added dimension of the caramelization that occurs from frying. Assolutamente delizioso! —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
large onion, chopped
celery stalks, chopped
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
chopped fresh thyme
can of whole, peeled tomatoes
cavolo nero, or a combination of kale, Savoy cabbage, collard greens, Swiss chard, and/or spinach, de-ribbed and sliced
can of cannellini beans, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Day 2 and 3
slices day old Tuscan or country bread, crusts removed
Day 1: In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10-15 minutes. If the vegetables start to brown, lower the heat. Add the garlic, thyme, and another pinch of salt and cook for another minute or two, until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and their juices and the sliced greens. Bring to a boil and keep stirring until the greens are wilted and cooked down. Add the beans and enough water to just cover all the vegetables, about 3 cups. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. You can serve the soup at this point with some fresh Tuscan bread. Refrigerate the remaining soup.
Day 2 and 3
Day 2: Tear the bread into small pieces and add to the soup. Bring to a boil again, and then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring to dissolve the bread into the soup. It should be thick enough that you can stand a wooden spoon in the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with a generous amount of your favorite finishing olive oil.
If there are still any leftovers, continue to simmer the soup until most of the liquid has evaporated and then refrigerate.
Day 3: Make handful size patties from the leftover soup and then refrigerate the patties for at least 30 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Pan fry the patties, flipping once after the bottom is brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Fry on the second side until the patties are heated through. Serve immediately, finished with additional olive oil drizzled on top and some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.