- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling at the table
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) beans, such as Goya brand
- 6 cups of chicken stock or broth
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 3 cups stale chewy Italian bread, crust removed and bread torn into pieces (about half a loaf)
- 1 small white onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped, for garish
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a deep, heavy-bottomed pot over moderate heat. Add oil, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, and bay leaf to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until veggies begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add beans, stock, and tomato sauce. Cover pot and bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove lid and stir in torn stale bread. Continue stirring to incorporate bread as it breaks down. When soup becomes thick and bread is distributed evenly, adjust your seasonings and serve the soup in shallow bowls. Some ribollitas are so thick, the spoon can stand upright. Make yours as thick or as thin as you like with either more or less bread or more or less stock or water.
Top shallow bowlfuls of soup with raw onion, a drizzle of olive oil, and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.