Feeding the 5000: Ribollita, a traditional Tuscan soup made with leftovers
Ribollita is a traditional and robust Italian dish made from leftover soup, vegetables and stale bread. It is a dish that is perhaps a perfect example of my ethos as a chef
This soup is incredibly versatile you can adapt the ingredients to the season and to whatever vegetables you have in your fridge.
Ingredients - serves 10
1 pigs spleen (optional) 250g Dried cannellini beans or chick peas (soaked overnight and cooked for 1 hour) or 500g of cooked ½ x Heads of celery, diced 1 Bunch of parsley, roughly chopped 500g Carrots, diced 500g Red onions, diced 500g Tinned plum tomatoes or tomato sauce, chopped 5 Cloves of garlic, roughly chopped 1 x Old loaves of ciabatta or white sourdough, with the crusts removed and saved for croutons or crumbs 1250g Kale ideally or cabbage, chard or broccoli Olive oil to taste Other additions could be beetroot, beans, leeks, beans
First put your spleen into a small pot that has a lid and cover with stock veg and water. simmer gently for 1 ½ hours till soft. Remove from the pan and leave to cool then slice.
Saute the slices of spleen, celery, parsley, carrots and onions in a pan for 15 minutes on a low heat. Season with a little salt and add the garlic. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove the stalks from the kale or chard slice them finely and add them to the vegetables. Layer the remaining leaves together and roll them to make a cigar, then shred them with a large cooks knife and add them to the pot. Next add the beans and a little water, keeping a thick consistency. Simmer for a further 15 minutes. Now tear the bread into clumps and add to the soup, season with fresh olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Leave for a few minutes for the bread to absorb all the flavours and soften.
The soup should be very thick, robust and flavourful. The bread makes this dish hearty and good for winter.