Miami Herald

Simple Ribollita


Makes 4-6 servings

1 large onion

3 medium carrots

2 celery stalks

8 garlic cloves

2 bunches Tuscan kale (I used the standard stuff, several handfuls for each round of wilting.)

1 small wedge of Parmesan with rind

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Time to prep your veg! You are going to make a mirepoix, which is just a fancy French word for the combo of chopped onions, carrots and celery that forms the flavor base for a lot of European dishes. First, cut 1 large onion in half through root. Peel and discard skins. Finely chop and transfer to a medium bowl.

Heat 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium. Add bowl of mirepoix and 2 teaspoons salt and cook, stirring occasional­ly, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 8-10 minutes.

Chop 2 celery stalks crosswise into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Add to bowl with the rest of the mirepoix.

Smash and peel 8 garlic cloves with the back of your knife. If any of them are left more or less intact after that initial smashing, give them another good whack with the back of your knife so they really open up and start to break apart. Add to bowl.

Strip stems from 2 bunches Tuscan kale and discard. Wash if they’re gritty or you really care about washing vegetables, then tear leaves into 2-inch pieces; set aside.

Cut rind off of 1 small Parmesan wedge; set aside.

Place 28-ounce canned tomatoes and their juices in a strainer set inside a medium bowl. (You need that bowl to collect the juice, which you’re going to use later — don’t throw it out!) Squeeze tomatoes and crush them with your hands while leaving them submerged in their liquid so they don’t squirt.

Tear 1⁄2 loaf crusty country bread into 11⁄2-inch pieces.

Lift strainer full of tomatoes and give it a few shakes to remove any liquid. Add tomatoes (but not juices!) and cook, stirring occasional­ly, until some of the rawness is cooked off, about 10 minutes. Giving those tomato solids a chance to caramelize before adding the liquid back in helps to add a lot of flavor to the stew. (Remember: Reserve the juices, you’re going to use them.)

While tomatoes are cooking, drain and rinse 14-ounce canned cannellini beans in the strainer you just used, then add to pot along with Parmesan rind, tomato juices, 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer.

Add kale in two additions, stirring often and allowing to wilt in between.

Add about one-third of torn bread (no need to measure, just eyeball it) and cook, stirring occasional­ly, until coated and warmed through, about 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Remove from heat. Place remaining torn bread chunks on top of stew. Drizzle generously with olive oil.

Transfer pot to oven and bake stew until thick, bubbling, and bread is golden brown on top, 10-15 minutes.

Ladle stew into bowls, drizzle each generously with olive oil, and grate lots of Parmesan over.

Note: I ended up taking the crouton layer off to prevent the soup from disappeari­ng entirely, toasting them up on a pizza steel to re-pair with the ribollita on reheat.

Recipe by Molly Baz via Bon Appétit ( 1 14-ounce can cannellini beans

1⁄2 loaf crusty country bread (about

10 ounces)

1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus

more for drizzling

3⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Kosher salt

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