I think Ribollita can be defined mostly by the core ingredients which always seem to be white cannelloni beans, kale, tomatoes and ‘stale’ bread. The rest of the ingredients are seasonable vegetables and that is why so many recipes are different. I believe that the first four I mentioned actually define this dish. Also, there is never any pasta added which might make it enter the realm of minestrone.
Head of garlic (the majority thinly sliced, the rest minced)
1 Small leek (optional)
Bell Pepper (optional)
1 Can whole tomatoes (crushed by hand) (***Some people use fresh roma tomatoes)
I can cannelloni beans
1/2 cup red or white wine
One bunch of Kale washed and chopped.
Salt and pepper to taste
(Other common ingredients include potatoes, celery and savoy cabbage)
Stage No. 1: Saute…
Add in this order and saute:
1 medium red onion chopped
1 head of garlic (2/3 thinly sliced and 1/3 minced)
1 small leek chopped (optional)
1 large or 2 small carrots chopped (un-pealed carrots are more rustic)
( **** a lot of recipes call for celery and potatoes. I didn’t have any)
1 bell pepper (any color) I chose yellow for contrast.
zucchini (yellow or green)
salt to taste
Stage No 2.
Can of diced tomatoes or hand crushed whole tomatoes. (***Some people use fresh roma)
Add 1/3 can of cannelloni beans mashed finely with a fork to help thicken
Splash of red or white wine
3 cups vegetable (or faux chicken broth)
(Afterwards it is important to keep a few cups of broth at your ready disposal to keep this just shy of a soup level) I used 3 more cups throughout the evening to keep it where I wanted.
Stage No. 3
Wilt the kale into the soup/stew.
(****It is also common to use savoy cabbage in addition to the kale)
Add 2/3 can of cannelloni beans
Stage No. 4
Toast crostini slices with olive oil on top. When crunchy, rub with halved garlic cloves
Stage No. 5
Serve soup/stew over toasted bread (or add crusty bread on top) and if you have fresh basil add that at the end.