Ribollita is a hearty Tuscan vegetable soup that is made extra filling by the addition of slightly stale bread.
I use to think that Ribollita was a very cute Italian pet name. Now I know better – Ribollita (a hearty Tuscan vegetable soup) is actually Italian for reboiled. Not quite as romantic, right? Despite the meaning being more prosaic that I originally thought this is one killer soup – filling, tasty and an easy on the purse. Now that November is here, it is officially soup weather – and I for one could not be happier. My husband is still in the ‘soup is not food’ camp despite years of me trying to convince him otherwise – well, this just means more for me. I am taking the leftovers to work and I actually really looking forward to lunch at my desk.
Ribollita uses lots of seasonal vegetables – celery, leek, carrots, cavolo nero – and is made extra filling by the addition of slightly stale bread. The addition of bread so that is soaks up all the wonderful flavour of the dish is something I remember from childhood. My brother and I used to dip our bread into our (Greek) salad to get every ounce of the wonderful olive oil and my father always added his to the fish soups my mother made.
Here the bread adds substance and makes the Ribollita both tastier and even more frugal if that’s possible. It is also, by definition, even better the next day after you make it so a fantastic candidate for batch cooking. Make a big pot on Sunday and you have enough for most of the week. Or make it without the cavolo nero and freeze in individual portions for up to three months. And for those of you admiring my new enamel pot, this is part of Prestige’s beautiful Vintage collection and comes in either red or blue. I have a pot to give away to one lucky reader so please scroll to the bottom of the post for details on how to enter this competition (closed).
Ribollita – Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Soup and a giveaway
This hearty Tuscan vegetable soup is one of the most filling and healthy meals you could hope for.Print Rate
Servings: 4 -5 servings
- 960 ml | 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 x 400g | 14oz can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 3 carrots peeled and cubed
- 3 celery sticks finely diced
- 2 leeks finely diced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
- 3 to matoes deseeded and finely diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 large leaves cavolo nero tough stalk removed, finely diced
- 6 slices stale sourdough bread plus extra to serve
- 2 garlic cloves peeled, to rub on the bread
- 2 bay leaves
- pinch chilli flakes
- olive oil
- Parmesan cheese to serve optional
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- finely chopped flat leaf parsley to serve
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot and sweat the carrots, celery, leeks, onions, garlic and bay leaves over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring now and then.
- Add the beans, tomatoes and paste and stir to combine. Add the stock, chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. At this point you can purée 1/3 of the soup in a blender and return to the pot – but this is optional.
- Add the cavolo nero and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Check the seasoning.
- Rub the bread slices with the garlic and then chop into cubes. Divide the bread among your bowls and then ladle the hot soup over it.
- Sprinkle with the parsley and Parmesan if using and serve with extra bread on the side.
You can use kale instead of cavolo nero and add more vegetables (such as courgettes) if you like.