Ribollita is one of the most famous and appreciated dishes of Tuscan cuisine. Discover its origins and what is the original recipe for cooking it!
The term Ribollita originates from the verb “Ribollire” that is “boil again”.
Ribollita was definitely a light dish of the Tuscan rural tradition, made with typical vegetables of poor cuisine, and that is why the debate on what are its origins and what is the original recipe to make it is always on.
Being a soup made with poor and seasonal ingredients it has probably always existed since ancient times.
In the Middle Ages the feudal lords ate roasts directly on unleavened bread buns (therefore without yeast and salt). At the end of the banquet the focaccias were given to the servants to feed themselves. The servants then boiled them in pots of water with what they could find in the surrounding countryside, mostly vegetables and herbs such as carrots, celery cabbage, etc …
The amount produced was such to last several days, was in fact boiled in the following days, buying flavor (as is typical of vegetables) with each bubbling.
Over time the traditiona recipe of tuscan ribollita became part of the eating habits of the Tuscan peasants: Friday became the day of the soup made of bread, since in that day it was necessary to eat “lean” and avoid fatty foods and meat.
It is difficult to say which is the original recipe of Tuscan ribollita.
In each town and in every family there are different recipes and each one claims to have the original one.
The first modern recipe book to bring back the recipe of a Tuscan low-fat soup is that of Pellegrino Artusi but it will be later the Tuscan delegation of the Italian Academy of the kitchen to certify the traditional recipe of the Tuscan Ribollita.
And here is the precious recipe!
Brown the onion in a saucepan. Add the celery and carrot cut into slices, add flavor then add the tomatoes cut into pieces without seeds and the cabbages, the pork rinds, the thyme and parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
Take an abundant half of the cooked beans and sieve it directly into their water, pour everything into the pan of vegetables and cook, very slowly, for about an hour, if necessary adding more water. Just before removing from the heat, add the whole beans.
Put slices of toast on the bottom of a tureen and pour half of the soup over it, then other slices of bread and the other half of the soup. Serve with a drizzle of new Olive Oil.
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