Soups

Ribollita – Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Ribollita, a hearty Tuscan vegetable soup made with cannellini beans, cavolo nero, bread, potatoes and garlic it’s packed full of nutrition and flavour. A great recipe for chilly winter evenings!

This traditional Tuscan vegetable soup is extremely popular during the winter months in Italy. It’s a very chunky and hearty stew-like soup that’s best enjoyed reheated the next day hence the name Ribollita (reboiled).

close up of a bowl of Tuscan vegetable soup another bowl with bread in back ground

Ribollita Origin

Ribollita was originally made by reheating leftover minestrone or vegetable soup the next day with the addition of crusty bread to bulk it out. There are many varieties of Ribollita but the most common vegetables used are;

  • cavolo nero
  • savoy cabbage
  • carrots
  • onion
  • celery
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes

How To Make Tuscan Vegetable Soup – Ribollita

First, you need to soak the dried cannellini beans in cold water for at least 12 hours (ideally 24). Once the beans have soaked, drain them and add them to a pot with 3 peeled garlic cloves, two sprigs of rosemary and 5 sage leaves. Cover the beans with water and place on a low heat.

Let the beans simmer gently for 2 hours then remove the beans with a slotted spoon and place in a separate bowl and discard the rosemary and sage. Keep the bean cooking liquid, this will act as your stock for the soup (photos 1,2 & 3)

Tip: If you’re pressed for time, skip this step and add canned cannellini beans in at the end. Replace the bean cooking liquid with extra vegetable stock.

step by step photos on how to make tuscan vegetable soup - ribollita

Next, make il soffritto (click the link to find out more about soffritto). Finely chop the carrot, onion and celery and add to a large pot with a little olive oil. Saute gently until soft then add the potato (peeled and cubed) and the leek, continue to cook until the leek has softened.

Add the bean cooking liquid, vegetable stock and canned chopped tomatoes along with a pinch of salt and pepper, simmer gently for 40 minutes (photos 4, 5 & 6).

Now add the roughly chopped cavolo nero and cannellini beans, simmer covered for 20 minutes then add the chopped bread. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes then serve (photos 7, 8 & 9).

Overhead shot of ribollita Tuscan vegetable stew with bread in background

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5 from 5 votes
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Ribollita - Tuscan Vegetable Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 20 mins
 
Ribollita, a hearty Tuscan vegetable soup made with cannellini beans, cavolo nero, bread, potatoes and garlic it's packed full of nutrition and flavour. A great recipe for chilly winter evenings!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 235 kcal
Author: Emily Kemp
Ingredients
For the beans
  • 1 1/2 cups 250g dried cannellini beans
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic
For the soup
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 1 lb (500g) cavolo nero
  • 2 medium sized potatoes peeled and cut into cubes (around 560g/oz)
  • 1 cup 270g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cups/ 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 oz (200g) crusty bread
Instructions
  1. First, soak the dried cannellini beans in cold water for at least 12 hours (ideally 24 hours).
  2. Once the beans have soaked, drain them and add them to a pot with 3 peeled garlic cloves, two sprigs of rosemary and 5 sage leaves. Cover the beans with 4 cups/1 litre water and place on a low heat, covered. *see notes if using pre-cooked cannellini beans.

  3. Let the beans simmer gently for 2 hours then remove the beans with a slotted spoon and place in a separate bowl and discard the rosemary and sage. Keep the bean cooking liquid, this will act as your stock for the soup.

  4. Finely chop the carrot, onion and celery and add to a large pot with the olive oil. Saute gently until soft then add the potato (peeled and cubed) and the leek, continue to cook until the leek has softened.

  5. Add the bean cooking liquid, vegetable stock and canned chopped tomatoes along with a good pinch of salt and pepper, simmer gently for 40 minutes.
  6. Now add the roughly chopped cavolo nero and cannellini beans, simmer covered for 20 minutes then add the chopped bread. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes then serve.
Recipe Notes
  •  If you're pressed for time, skip the first 3 steps and add pre-cooked canned cannellini beans in at the end. Replace the bean cooking liquid with extra vegetable stock.
  • Overall time excludes bean soaking time

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Julia
    November 4, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Minestrone is one of my favorite soups and I love bread so this ribollita soup is perfect for me 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    November 4, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Ribollita is one of my favorite cold weather comfort foods. It’s so hearty and just instantly warms you up. Your photos are lovely!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    November 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    This looks so warm and satisfying for fall, can’t wait to make it!

  • Reply
    Patty
    November 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    That soups looks scrumptious Emily, love that it has chunks, something to bite in, very comforting!

  • Reply
    Amy | The Cook Report
    November 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    This looks so comforting! I love the addition of the bread

  • Leave a Reply

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