Shhhh … I’ve agreed to share my paleo style recipe for ribollita (a Tuscan, vegetable soup) but we’ve got to keep it a sort of secret.
You see, if my Tuscan friends find out that I’ve adapted the traditional recipe, I’m going to be in a heap of trouble. 🙂
Kidding aside, virtually everyone has his or her own version of this soup. Some add garlic, some would never add garlic, some add rosemary, some would never add rosemary (you get the picture) and each person’s version is naturally the best and ONLY way to make ribollita. But really it’s the marrying of vegetable flavors in ribollita (which means literally, reboiled) that makes this soup so delicious.
So I’m bravely sharing this Paleo version for those of us who avoid gluten and eat more protein in our diet, since traditional ribollita does not include meat.
Super Easy, Paleo Style Ribollita (Tuscan Soup)
- 1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- one large onion, chopped
- 3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large leek, chopped
- 1 large zucchini, chopped
- 1 small or 1/2 medium-sized cabbage, coarsely chopped (I prefer purple or “shaggy” leaf cabbage)
- 1 bunch Swiss chard or kale, coarsely chopped
- 28-ounce can Roma-style tomatoes, peeled
- several sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
- 14-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh turkey or chicken breast, coarsely chopped
- 1 peperoncino or dried red pepper flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
In large stock pot add the olive oil, onion, celery, carrots, leek and garlic and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and parsley to the pot with enough water to just cover the vegetables. (Don’t add the beans just yet.) Add salt, pepper and hot pepper to taste. (Note: Easy does it on the hot pepper – just enough to flavor the soup without making it spicy hot). Bring the soup to a boil and immediately reduce to a low simmer.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, brown the chopped turkey or chicken in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. When browned, add to the soup.
Simmer the soup for 2-3 hours on low, stirring occasionally. Be sure to taste it now and then for seasoning. Stir in the cannellini beans about 1/2 hour before serving.
Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt on top (or with a bit of parmigiano reggiano if you eat dairy). How many does it serve? Hard to say! A pot this size will feed my husband and I for several days, so I often freeze half of it.
Pamela Haack is an Italy travel consultant and author of Off the Beaten Strada: Top 10 Favorite Etruscan Sites. She specializes in creating personalized experiences and group trips for active travelers, helping them to better explore Italy – off the beaten strada.
From art experts and operettas to authentic cooking classes and ancient Etruscans, Pamela helps visitors experience the spectacularly beautiful, endlessly interesting regions of Umbria, Tuscany and Lazio in an up-close and personal way.
Pamela lives with her husband, Luigi, in Umbria, Italy.