RECIPE: Tuscan Ribollita

Crisp autumn air has thoughts turning to tummy warming soups that are hearty and flavourful. The perfect bowlful to fit this bill is the Tuscan Ribollita. This classic dish of peasant cuisine (cucina povera) is a soup whose main ingredients are leftover bread, cannellini beans, kale, cabbage, and inexpensive vegetables such as carrot, beans, chard, celery, potatoes, and onion. The soup is typically made in big batches requiring the need to reheat it or “reboil” it (hence its name Ribollita), which makes it even tastier.

If you are looking for a minestra to add to your fall and winter repertoire we suggest giving this typical Tuscan Ribollita a try. 

Buon appetito!

Ribollita Soup

RECIPE: Ribollita

  • Author: Jenny Arena


  • 500 g dried white beans, washed and soaked overnight
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 500 g cavolo nero or kale, shredded
  • 500 g beet greens, ribbed and shredded
  • 250 g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt, pepper, and a sprig of thyme
  • Thinly sliced day old crusty Italian bread


In a pot submerge the beans with salted, cold water (2 inches of water should surpass the beans). Boil until tender, adding more water if necessary.

Sauté the onion, carrot, celery, and parsley in olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. When the onion has become translucent, add the tomato paste and the liquid from the beans. Then add the cabbage, beet greens, and potatoes.

Stir in the beans and season to taste with salt, pepper, and a sprig of thyme. Simmer until the potatoes are done. Remove the thyme. Take a deep oven-proof serving dish and layer it with soup, alternating with sliced bread. 

The soup can be enjoyed immediately as bread soup, or you can allow it to rest overnight then re-heat it and enjoy it as Ribollita.

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