RRRRRRibollita, say it with me!!! You have to roll those r’s if you’re going to be making this Tuscan Italian soup sometime in the near future. I know I say this like all the flippin’ time but honestly this Ribollita soup recipe was one of the better soups I’ve made/had in a minute. It was hearty, it was tasty, and if I do say so myself it’s pretty dang healthy… I’m sure though that my version of healthy is different than yours so take it for what it’s worth. In any event this soup is indigenous to the Tuscany region in Italy, which is on the west coast of the country and up towards the top. I’ve never been to Italy and for some reason I’m not overly interested in going there, mainly because I don’t want to sit on a stinkin’ plane for 10 hours. In fact, if I was forced to go overseas I’d probably head to Israel :-). Isn’t that crazy? My grandparents were from Italy for crying out loud and I don’t have much of a desire to go there. What’s wrong with me? Honestly I know it would be amazing and I would at some point like to go and spend a lot of time there, and in Western Europe. Ok so how did we get here to me traveling instead of talking about the soup? My bad.
Ok so back to this Ribollita Soup Recipe with Chicken and Kale. As always it starts with your mise en place, or prep. When I cook anything, no matter what it is, I always prep out everything so that when I begin cooking I can simply cook and not worry about chopping things right when I need them. If you do this I promise that cooking will become much more enjoyable for you. Now that you’ve got your mirepoix, a.k.a. onions, celery and carrots, cut up along with the garlic, let’s get after it.
Season the chicken breasts generously on both sides with Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and set it aside. As a side note you don’t have to just use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You can absolutely use a whole broken down chicken or heck even just dark meat, but I use chicken breasts because my wife prefers it and well, she’s the boss. The next thing you want to do in this Ribollita Soup Recipe is to sear the chicken on both sides in the large pot that you will actually be making the soup in. So brown them and cook them through completely in a large pot over medium heat with olive oil. It’s best to do this because it simply adds more flavor to the pot. You know that brown caramelized goodness that gets stuck to the bottom of the pot? Yeah that’s called fond or as we in the industry like to call it, nom noms :-). Remove the chicken, chop it up and let it sit while you add your mirepoix and garlic into that same pot where the chicken was cooking. You can crank the heat up to high here and try and roast up the veggies for a 3 to 4 minutes before deglazing with the white wine. It is so important to scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon after deglazing to get all of that delicious fond off and into our soup! Be sure to cook the wine until it’s just about gone before adding in any other ingredients.
Next for this Ribollita Soup Recipe it’s all about adding everything in and letting it simmer to incorporate all of those tasty flavors in. Wait!! Don’t add in the kale yet as it will wilt and get quite gross, especially if you plan on leaving this bad boy sit on the stove all day. In fact, I would hold off on the cooked cous cous as well because they will also turn to mush. So to recap, leave out the kale and cous cous until you are ready to eat it! Now, once you have it in lay a piece of bread over top and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on and pop it in the broiler for a few minutes to melt it up. It’s kind of like onion soup where the bread adds some body and flavor to the soup, plus it’s just plain awesome! That’s about all I got folks, enjoy this Ribollita Soup Recipe with Chicken and Kale!
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 peeled and small diced yellow onion
- 5 medium diced ribs of celery
- 5 peeled and medium diced carrots
- 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of chardonnay
- 4 15-ounce cans of white cannellini beans, strained
- 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 gallon of chicken stock
- 4 cups of cooked Israeli cous cous
- 1 head of trimmed and cut fresh kale
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- crisp cooked prosciutto slices, chopped for garnish
- French baguette slices
- parmesan cheese for garnish
- Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large dutch oven pot and sear the chicken breasts on both sides until golden brown and cooked through out.
- Remove the chicken, medium dice and set aside.
- Next, add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Add the chopped chicken back in along with the beans, tomatoes, stock and salt and pepper and simmer on low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Finish the soup by adding in the cooked cous cous, kale, thyme and rosemary.
- Pour the soup into a bowl and garnish with chopped crispy prosciutto and parmesan cheese.