Ribollita means to "boil twice" in Italian, and that's just what you do with this hearty vegetable soup: reboil it with slices of bread. Sally Weaver loves this Tuscan peasant soup for its versatility. If you don't have on hand the vegetables she calls for, feel free to substitute others. Sally's daughters, Georgia and Oona, eagerly gobble up the thick stew -- especially the day after it's made, when it tastes even better, they say.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, garlic, celery, and carrots; sauté until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the beans, and the remaining vegetables, then season with the salt, pepper, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Add enough water to cover the vegetables (about 10 cups) and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer the soup for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Add the slices of bread, then raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a second boil, stirring occasionally, until the bread has fully broken down, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Let the soup stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Ladle the soup into bowls, then sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil, if desired. Makes about 24 cups.
Per serving (1 cup):
Total Fat 6 g (9% DV)
Saturated Fat 1g (4% DV)
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 513 mg (21% DV)
Total Carbohydrate 24 g (8% DV)
Fiber 4 g (15% DV)
Protein 5 g (10% DV)
Vitamin A 5154 IU (103% DV)
Vitamin C 37 mg (61% DV) Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.