Cavolo Nero and Borlotti Bean Soup

This recipe for the classic Tuscan soup is based on one in The River Cafe Cook Book by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers (Ebury Press, 1995).

Cavolo Nero and Borlotti Bean Soup
This recipe for the classic Tuscan soup is based on one in The River Cafe Cook Book by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers (Ebury Press, 1995).
Yield: serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 14 cup plus 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 6 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 lb. cavolo nero, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 3 (14-oz.) cans borlotti beans, drained
  • 1 stale crustless loaf ciabatta bread (about 3⁄4 lb. whole)

Instructions

  1. Heat 1⁄4 cup of oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add parsley leaves, celery, cloves garlic, carrots, onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until light brown, 15–20 minutes.
  2. Crush tomatoes; add to pot. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until thickened, 25–30 minutes. Add cavolo nero, 2 cans of the beans, and 1 gallon water. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, until cavolo nero is tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, purée remaining 1 can of beans and 1⁄2 cup water in a food processor; stir into pot. Tear bread into 1" pieces; add to pot with remaining 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until thick, about 30 minutes. Serve drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.