We received braising greens for a couple of weeks in a row from our farm share, and I hadn’t used them up. These greens are tough! They’re some sort of combination of mustard, kale, chard and other somewhat bitter, hearty greens, and they looked just as good after two weeks in my fridge as on the day I’d picked them up. When it comes to deep dark greens like kale and this braising mix, my thoughts immediately turn to soup — I find them palatable cooked this way, whereas I still haven’t come around to enjoying them simply sauteed.
I followed the recipe for Ribollita on 101 Cookbooks, as I usually find success with Heidi’s recipes. This is a simple, rustic recipe but because it involves a lot of vegetable prep, it took me quite a long time to prepare. I can’t help it, I’m slow with a knife. I used my braising greens instead of the Tuscan kale, and canned cannellini beans instead of dried.
I did have a bowl the night I made it, but served most of the soup the next day, “reboiled.” (That’s what ribollita means in Italian.) It was good. I can’t be more effusive because I just don’t adore the ingredients, but it was pleasant to eat and I think the adults eating with me all felt similarly. If nothing else, it was good for us! The lemon zest was a highlight, freshening up the deep, heavy flavors of the greens and beans.
While I was zesting the lemon, my five year old came into the kitchen to hang out. I told him the soup I was making had an interesting name, “Ribollita.”
“Oh,” he said. “That sounds French because of the ‘a’ on the end.” Pretty close, my man! Pretty close.