RIBOLLATA/TUSCAN VEGETABLE SOUP
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 small zucchini or yellow squash, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, divided
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 15.5-ounce can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 small piece Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (with rind preferably)
- 4 cups chopped kale, Swiss chard or escarole
- 1 small loaf Italian or French bread, sliced
In 5-quart saucepan over medium heat, in 2 tablespoons olive oil, cook celery, carrots, red onion, zucchini and 3 garlic cloves (minced), about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes with their liquid and vegetable broth: heat to boiling. Add beans, salt, crushed red pepper and piece of cheese; heat to boiling; simmer 10 minutes. Add kale; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F. Rub Italian bread slices with remaining garlic clove (cut in half); brush bread with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Toast bread 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.
To serve, place 2 toasted bread slices in shallow serving bowl; ladle soup over bread. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Note: Recipe can be easily doubled. (Soup tastes better next day.)