There’s often confusion as to what ribollita should actually be like. It’s not like minestrone, as it isn’t brothy and it has no pasta in it. It’s actually more like pappa al pomodoro, as it’s thick and based on bread. It’s very much Italian ‘peasant food’ and would have been eaten a lot in the days of no central heating and lots of hard manual labour. I think this recipe embraces the heart and soul of what peasant cooking is all about – cheap, tasty power food. Please do make it and reheat it the next day – you’ll find the flavours intensify.
Onions, carrots, celery and garlic – as they can form the base for so many different dishes. Here, with a few extra store cupboard items, you can make a fantastic soup in no time. Feel free to puree or half-puree the soup, or leave it all chunky, depending on how you like it. Sometimes I add a few dried porcini mushrooms to make it extra special.