I made ribollita on Sunday, with a recipe from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen. It’s hearty, filled with winter vegetables — kale, swiss chard, cabbage, potatoes — and fortified with white beans and bread… and I’ve been eating it every day since I made it. (Why, yes! I am having another single week — how did you guess?) Here’s a photo, which is not very pretty, but this is a soup of substance, not style.
The best ribollita I’ve ever had was in Siena, at a touristy restaurant on the edge of the Piazza del Campo (above). It was a boiling hot day in early June and there we were, eating boiling hot Tuscan bean soup, with the sun beating down on us through an umbrella. I still remember that soup, thick with vegetables, the top lightly broiled in the oven, the spongy texture, the peppery, buttery flavor of olive oil. It’s funny that I remember the sun and heat because later that afternoon, we got caught in a thunderstorm, sans umbrella. We took the picture above while huddled under an awning, watching the rain wash the seashell piazza clean, finally emptying it of tourists.