Time: About 50 minutes. We updated ribollita, a hearty, comforting Tuscan vegetable soup thickened with lots of day-old bread, with this lighter version. (We've added the bread at the end and only on top—and used oil sparingly.)
About 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2-in. pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped into 1-in. pieces
1 1/2 qts. chicken broth
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 whole canned tomatoes*, quartered, plus some juice
2 cups chopped Swiss chard
4 cups rough-textured day-old bread (such as ciabatta), ripped into 1 1/2-in. pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Wedge of parmesan cheese for grating (optional)
How to Make It
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in broth and beans, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and chard and simmer another 15 minutes, covered.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Lay bread pieces on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast in oven until slightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set croutons aside.
Just before serving, add basil and cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide soup among serving bowls and top each with a few warm croutons. Grate parmesan directly over soup if you like.
*Muir Glen canned tomatoes are exceptionally flavorful and somehow don't taste as "canned" as other brands.
This soup is delicious. I used fines herbs while cooking it as my fresh basil must have escaped from the grocery kart. I also substituted kale as it was more readily available. It gets even better as leftovers for lunch.
I'm trying to incorporate more beans and lentils into my diet (because I don't like them but I know they are good for me). This soup was SO yummy!! Not sure what kind of greens I used because I purchased in Rome and no one could tell me English translation. But they were sturdy leafy greens and worked well! I added just a touch of pecorino before serving and this took care of any need for salt or pepper. I had one bowl with bread and one without (that's how good the soup is) and I highly suggest including the bread if you have access to a good loaf! Although it was quite tasty on its own, the bread makes it more 'comforting' I think.