Ribollita (Tuscan Vegetable Soup)

Ribollita literally means "re-boiled." It usually consists of leftovers that are reheated with the addition of beans. In Tuscany, olive oil is served as a condiment to be poured into the soup at the table.

1/2 cup dried cannellini beans
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 leek, chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 cups diced zucchini
1/4 pound green beans, topped and tailed
    and cut into short pieces
6 slices white bread
1 pound green cabbage, sliced
Olive oil
Water
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Begin preparation the day before you plan to serve the soup. Put dried beans in a pan with 1 1/2 pints of cold water and bring to boil. Turn off heat and leave beans to soak for 1 hour. Heat some olive oil in a large pan and add garlic, onion, carrot, celery and leek and sauté gently for 5 minutes. Add drained beans, tomatoes and 3 pints cold water. Simmer gently for 1 hour or until beans are tender. Halfway through cooking beans, add zucchini and green beans. Refrigerate the soup overnight.

The next day cook cabbage in boiling water and re-heat soup. Put a slice of bread in the bottom of individual, warmed soup dishes. Drain cabbage and pile onto the bread. Adjust seasoning of the soup to taste and ladle into soup dishes. Serve with a jug of olive oil so that each person can pour some into their soup.