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Ribollita alla Toscana (Without Soggy Bread)

Tuscan-Style Vegetable Soup

This is a classic Tuscan soup, and since every Italian probably makes a few tweaks to make it their own, Linda also made some tweaks – with the biggest ones were adding Italian sausage and leaving the bread out of the soup, which many recipes call for. We just enjoyed eating a loaf of warm Italian bread as a side to the soup. This is a nice, hearty soup for a cold winter night.


Extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
2 to 3 carrots peeled and chopped
Kosher salt
6 garlic cloves finely chopped
28 ounces canned whole San Marzano tomatoes (we’re usually Red Gold fans, but the real deal here makes a difference)
1 cup dry white wine
4 to 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans drained and well-rinsed
1/2 pound Italian sausage - browned
Parmesan rind with at least 1/2-inch of cheese left on it
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound kale, thick stems and veins removed, chopped (more if you really like kale)
grated Parmesan cheese, optional


In a large cooking pot, brown the sausage over medium-high heat and remove it to a plate. Add 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to the pan and heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Sprinkle a little kosher salt. Lower the heat to medium and cook, tossing regularly until softened. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, tossing regularly (do not let the garlic brown).

Add the sausage, tomatoes, white wine, and 4 cups broth. Cook over medium heat for a little bit, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, combine about 1/2 cup of the brothy tomato mixture and 1 can of cannellini beans. Purée.

Add the Parmesan rind, fresh thyme, bay leaf, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes to the pot of tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Let simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Now add the cannellini beans (both the whole and pureed beans) and fresh kale (stir to make sure the kale is submerged in the soup) to the cooking pot. Let the kale cook for a few minutes, and then simmer until all vegetables are done, about 45 minutes. Depending on how thick you like your soup, you can add up to another 2 cups of broth.

Remove what is left of the Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan if you like, and a good Chianti Classico.