This soup is easy and fast to make. If you are quick with your vegetable prep it can be on your dinner table in about a half hour. This Italian soup is hearty and delicious! I prefer red kale or lacinato kale over curly green kale. I used red kale in this batch and to me it was the perfect flavor and texture for this soup. I think my family favors the red kale because the overall flavor is sweeter than other kale varieties. Many other Ribollita recipes use bread as a thickener for this soup. This recipe uses pureed beans which gave a wonderful creamy texture to the broth. I served this with large slices of buttered whole grain bread - great for dipping into the broth. YUM!
Adapted From the Food Section of The Washington Post, January 4, 2018. The Post recipe was adapted from “The Healthy Jewish Kitchen: Fresh, Contemporary Recipes for Every Occasion,” by Paula Shoyer (Sterling Epicure, 2017).
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut in half, then thinly sliced and rinsed well
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into thin rounds
2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Two 15.5-ounce cans no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
7 cups water
3 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup peeled butternut squash chunks, cut into 1-inch pieces
10 leaves any variety of kale, stemmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme – or substitute any other herb
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 large starchy potato, peeled and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch chunks
1/2 packed cup basil leaves, or a medium bunch, thinly sliced, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, leeks, carrots, and garlic and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. Meanwhile, place half the cannellini beans in a food processor. Add 1/2 cup of the water and puree until smooth.
Add the tomatoes to the saucepan; increase the heat to medium and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring often, then add the zucchini, squash, kale and thyme. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, then add another 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper, the remaining 6 1/2 cups of water, the pureed beans and the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then stir in the remaining beans. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are barely fork-tender. Taste and add salt and/or pepper, as needed. Add the basil and serve hot.