Today we feature an Italian soup from Tuscany. Called Ribolitta, it is a peasant soup that has a storied history. In medieval times, peasants did not have money for meat in the vicinity of Florence. So they would use what ever wild greens and wild onions they could find to make a soup with water. For protein they would add white beans (cannellini), the most common source of protein in Tuscany. To thicken this soup they would crush up some of the beans and then add old, dry bread. The typical bread of Tuscany is saltless so diners would wipe a bit of salted herring or other salted fish on additional bread and add it to the bowl before they poured the soup in. One of the most essential historical elements of the soup is cavalo nero, what we call Tuscan or dinosaur kale.
Today’s soup has the Tuscan kale from Blenheim Organic Gardens. They are regulars at the Williamsburg Farmer’s Market. If you have not tried their non-GMO heritage corn meal you should. It is amazing.