Tuscan Cabbage and Bean Soup, Ribollita

Serves 6-8

1 cup of dry cannellini beans,
soak in water overnight and boil with a little salt for 30 minutes, set aside. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Yellow onions, cut ½-inch dice
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in thin rings
2 carrots cut in ¼-inch dice
2 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
3 clove garlic, 2 thinly sliced and1 for the bread
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 lb. black cabbage or collard greens, roughly chopped
8 ounces white cabbage, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
About 8 slices of Italian country bread or any rustic bread
Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

On a big pot, sautè the onions, sliced garlic, leeks, carrots, celery, potatoes, and herbs until vegetables start to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the cabbages and continue cooking until the it start softening or wilting, season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the tomato paste, stirring until mixing with the rest well. Bring the heat to low and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the beans to it and cool water (vegetable stock can be used) to cover by at least 2 inches, bring to a boil and lower the heat, cover the pot and finish cooking for 30 to 45 minutes, tasting for doneness in the process, if cabbage consistency is to your liking at any point, is done. While the soup rests for about 8 minutes, grill the bread or heat on the skillet and rub it with the whole clove of garlic, serve on big bowls, drizzle some olive oil and grated Parmigiano.

Optional: Purè another 1/2 cup of beans by using a food mill to get rid of their skins and add it with the whole beans, hmm.