Recipe for Minestra and Ribollita

Recipe for Minestrone today Ribollita tomorrow!!!

Serves 8


200g Cannelloni beans, soaked over night in water

2 medium red onions, finely diced

2 medium sticks of celery, finely diced

1 large carrot stick, finely diced

300 gm silverbeet, washed trimmed and finely chopped

800gm cavolo nero, washed trimmed and finely chopped

300gm tomato puree

5 tblsp olive oil

1/2 a small red chilli, finely diced

6 tblsp grated parmesan

sea salt and pepper

2 tblsp cooking salt

extra virgin olive oil for serving


Drain the soaked beans and put them into a large saucepan.  Cover with plenty of cold water, add the cooking salt and bring to the boil.  Lower the heat and cook for at least 1 hour or until the beans are cooked.

Meanwhile in another pot, heat the olive oil.  Add the onion, celery and carrot and season with some salt and pepper and sauté on a low heat for at least 10 minutes, until they have caramalised a little. Add the silver beat and cavalo nero and sauté for a little longer, 5 minutes at least.

Cover with 3 litres of water and bring to the boil, and add the chilli and tomato puree.  When it comes to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 ¼ hours.

Drain the cannelloni beans, keeping about 1 cup of the cooking water.  Puree half of the beans with this water, leaving the rest of the beans whole.  Add both of these to the soup in the last 10 minutes of the cooking time.  Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve in bowls and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and some grated parmesan.

With your left over Minestrone soup the next reinvent it as a Ribollita the well known Tuscan Bread Soup!! Simply in a large bowl place a spoon of your minestrone soup and then layer on top with thinly sliced stale bread, sprinkle some more grated parmesan and then ladle another spoon of soup followed by a thin layer of stale bread and parmesan, and continue this until you have finished all the soup.  Leave for 30 minutes so the soup absorbs all the bread and then heat a fry pan with some extra virgin olive oil and spoon in your thick soup into the pan and cook on the first side until you get a crust and then turn it over like an omlette and form a crust on the other side.  serve immediately. Photo below of the wonderful Tuscan Ribollita soup