Ribollita ala Toscana

  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 leek (chopped white portion)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 carrots (½ inch rounds)
  • 4 zucchini (½ inch rounds)
  • ¼ Savoy cabbage (shredded and chopped)
  • 1 bunch kale (shredded and chopped)
  • 1 small bunch spinach (shredded and chopped)
  • 4 potatoes (cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • 1 c. green beans (bite-size pieces)
  • 2 c. Tuscan white beans (1/2 pureed and ½ whole) *
  • 2 T. coarse sea salt (or Kosher salt)
  • 4 T. tomato paste
  • 1 lb. stale Italian bread (sliced)

Directions

Day One:
Heat oil in a large pot. Sauté onion and leek together over low heat until almost burning. Add garlic and sauté one minute.
Add all remaining vegetables to the sautéed mix. Season with salt and stir thoroughly. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until volume of the vegetables is reduced by half.
Add water or stock to the pot and stir to distribute. Use an amount that works for you – more water/stock produces more broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Add tomato paste and stir to dissolve evenly. Cover and cook for one hour.
Add the beans. This is the minestrone soup. Refrigerate leftovers.
Day Two:
Put the leftovers into a deep baking dish, layering with the stale bread. Add thinly sliced red onion to the top. Bake at moderately low heat for 10 to 20 minutes. Serve when done. Refrigerate leftovers.
Day Three:
Re-boil the leftovers and stir well to break up the bread. Serve with olive oil drizzled on top. This stew-like soup can be eaten with a fork!
Note: You can eliminate or substitute vegetables based on what’s in house, adding them to a base of oil, onion, garlic, carrots, cabbage, beans, and potatoes.]
* Whole cooked beans work fine but give the dish a different flavor and texture

Contributed by Jill Jackson of Tacoma WA to Compassionate Cooking – PAWS’ Vegetarian Cookbook (1999)
** The cookbook is probably out of print. For more information, visit www.pawsweb.org.