Ribollita is a classic Tuscan soup that's made up of vegetable soup mixed with pieces of rustic bread. This version is packed with veggies—white beans, kale, chard, potatoes, tomatoes—and served with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
- 13 cups (or more) water, divided
- 1 1/4 cups dried cannellini (white kidney beans; about 8 ounces) (or sub canned, cooked beans-add at end)
- 12 large fresh sage leaves
- 8 garlic cloves; 5 sliced, 3 chopped
- 2 teaspoons (or more) fine sea salt, divided
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 large unpeeled Yukon Gold potato, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered through core, sliced crosswise
- 1 large pinch of dried thyme
- 1 small bunch black kale,* cut crosswise into 1-inch ribbons (about 6 cups)
- 1 small bunch green chard (about 4 large leaves), center stem removed, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide ribbons (about 6 cups)
- 4 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage
- 5 large plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 2-inch square Parmesan cheese rind
- Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
- 2 cups (or more) Light Vegetable Broth or good-quality canned vegetable broth (such as Swanson)
- 6 1/2-inch-thick slices country white bread, coarsely torn with crusts
Combine 8 cups water, beans, sage, and sliced garlic in large saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water by 1/4 cupfuls to keep beans submerged, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on age of beans. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt; simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and cool beans in liquid. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill in cooking liquid.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with sea salt. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic; stir 2 minutes. Add celery, carrot, potato, fennel, and thyme; cook until vegetables are tender and begin to turn brown in spots, stirring often, 15 to 18 minutes. Add kale, chard, cabbage, tomatoes, Parmesan rind, 5 cups water, and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add beans with cooking liquid and crushed red pepper. Add 2 cups broth. Season with salt and generous amount of pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm before continuing.
Add bread to soup and simmer, stirring often to break up bread into smaller pieces and adding more broth by 1/2 cupfuls to thin, if desired. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Divide ribollita among bowls, drizzle with oil, and serve.