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Ribollita

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Ribollita

Italian bread soup.  Very comforting on cold winter days.

1 lb. dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight

6 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup of olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

2 carrots, thickly sliced

2 ribs celery, thickly sliced

2 all-purpose potatoes, thickly sliced

1 large bunch swiss chard, coarsely chopped

1 bunch cavolo nero or kale, coarsely chopped

1⁄2 small savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped

1 cup chopped plum tomatoes

3 thick slices day-old country white bread

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook beans in the broth for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, reserving cooking liquid.

2. Reserve 1 cup cooked beans; then purée remaining beans along with 2 cups of the cooking liquid.

3. Set beans, purée, and remaining cooking liquid aside in three separate containers.

4. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.

5. Add onions, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

6. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, chard, cavolo nero, and cabbage, stirring until mixed.

7. Add tomatoes, cover, and cook until greens wilt, about 20 minutes.

8. Add puréed beans and remaining cooking liquid, and simmer, covered, until vegetables are soft, about 1 hour.

9. Add bread and reserved beans, stir gently, cover, return to a simmer and cook until bread begins to soften, about 10 minutes. 

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