I saw Giada DeLaurentis make this recipe a couple of years ago and always meant to try it, but never got around to it. It’s for Ribollita, an italian soup that she serves over toasted ciabatta bread. I skipped the bread and made some substantial changes to the ingredients (becuase I was missing about half of them) but it came out better than I could have hoped. You can see the original here.

My Ribollita
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 roma tomatoes, diced (tip: use a serrated knife to dice soft tomatoes without crushing them!)
3 cups chicken broth or stock (I used Imagine brand organic free range chicken broth – it was excellent)
whole package swiss chard (this was about 10 large leaves), rinsed, with the hard center stalk cut out, and torn into big pieces.
salt and pepper
italian herbs – whatever you’ve got. I used “italian herb mix”.
a piece of parmesan rind if you’ve got it
15-oz can of cannellini beans

1. Sautee onions, carrots and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add a few hearty pinches of salt and a bunch of ground black pepper to the onions – eyeball this, but err on the side of caution with the salt – you can always add more later. If the onions start browning quickly, lower the heat.
2. When the onions are translucent and turning golden brown, add the tomato paste and stir to dissolve.
3. Add the tomatoes and a couple tablespoons of chicken broth, and stir. Cook until the tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the chard, stir and cover. Let cook 5 minutes, or until the chard is nicely wilted, stirring halfway through. Yes, it looks like a lot when you put it in, but fear not – the chard will shrink a huge amount as it cooks, and you will get the perfect amount of leafy green goodness in your soup.
5. Add the rest of the broth, the parmesan rind, and the italian seasoning, and the white beans, and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low to simmer.
6. Simmer 30 minutes. Serve topped with grated parmesan.

this is the part where it gets really hard to wait 30 minutes while it simmers

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