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).
- 1⁄4 cup plus 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1⁄2 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)
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.
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.
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.