Ribollita Twice-Cooked Florentine Vegetable Soup

adapted from NYT Cooking, Mark Bittman 

and Biba's Italy, Biba Caggiano

5 Tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed (about a tablespoon)

2 celery stalks (about 2 cups)

2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large potato, peeled and coarsely diced (about 2 cups)

1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 small bunch of leafy kale (I used about 3/4 of the bunch)

1-15 oz. can diced Italian tomatoes (San Marzano, if available)

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1 fresh rosemary sprig

1 fresh thyme sprig

2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock may be used) (Add additional based on the amount of vegetables that you are using.  I ended up with six cups of stock.)

5 thick slices crusty Italian bread

1/2  cup shredded Parmesan

Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  When it is hot, add the onion, celery, and carrots.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, parsley and stir until the garlic blooms.  Add the kale, cabbage, potato.  Stir.  Add the tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans, stock, rosemary, and thyme.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove the rosemary and thyme stems.  Taste.  Adjust the seasonings.

Ladle soup into bowls and place a slice of bread on top of the soup.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and top with shredded Parmesan.  Put the bowls under the broiler until the cheese is browned.