Ribollita is a hearty vegetable and bread soup from Tuscany. Ribollita literally means “reboiled” and was originally made by Tuscan peasants using leftover vegetables, beans and bread. I found several recipes for it while searching for something to do with cabbage. I, actually, had not heard of it before, but now it’s my new favorite soup. It’s incredibly versatile so, in the true spirit of the dish, use what you have on hand. Then cozy up and enjoy! Come to think of it… this would be a great, simple but satisfying supper for Halloween to offset all that candy.

Before you begin, make sure you have a sharp knife…

and a bowl for scraps. You’ll be chopping lots of veggies!

Start with 2 TB olive oil, 3 slices of thick cut bacon (skip if you want a vegetarian dish) and 1 large onion, chopped. Saute in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

Add the following and cook until the vegetables just start to get soft …

2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped (@ 3/4 cup)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (start with 1 tsp of each)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Then add…
1 TB garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 TB tomato paste
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 15oz can cannelloni beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
6 cups thinly sliced cabbage (spinach, chard and/or kale would also be lovely)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh baby arugula (or use fresh basil)

Simmer until the cabbage is cooked, add salt/pepper to your taste. Serve over toasted bread (preferably a hearty Italian or sourdough) and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

R.I.P. Aunt Mary… A woman who lived through more than most of us can imagine in her 92 years! I think she’d approve of this quote…

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Mother Teresa

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