Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 as a main


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped into ½-inch dice
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch dice
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4 cups dried cannellini or borlotti (cranberry) beans, soaked and cooked (or use canned beans, which are perfectly fine)
  • 2 cups basic tomato sauce (see separate recipe)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves sliced into ½-inch-wide ribbons
  • 2 bunches kale, leaves sliced into ½-inch-wide ribbons
  • 2 bunches cavolo nero (Tuscan kale), leaves sliced into ½-inch-wide ribbons
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 to 10 slices of country bread, toasted
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


In an 8-quart soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, 2 cups of the beans, the tomato sauce, and 3 quarts of hot water. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and add the chard, kale, and cavolo nero. Simmer, partially covered, until all the vegetables are very soft, about 1 ½ hours.

Add the remaining beans and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the ribollita to cool, and then refrigerate it overnight.

The following day, bring the ribollita to a boil. Place a slice of toast in each shallow bowl, and ladle the soup over the toast. Drizzle with olive oil, and pass the Parmigiano at the table.

Courtesy of Molto Batali by Mario Batali (Ecco, 2011).


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