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Best Ribollita

Tuscan Ribollita Soup

Jael McHenry, The Kitchen Daughter

The spicy, creamy, comforting scent of ribollita drifts upward. I breathe it in.
I’m opening the silverware drawer for a spoon when I notice her. On the step stool in the corner of the kitchen, next to the refrigerator, sits Nonna. She is wearing a bright yellow shaker sweater and acid-washed jeans.
Nonna has been dead for twenty years.
Nonetheless, she’s right there. Wearing what she wore and looking how she looked in 1991.
Tuscan Ribollita Soup

Traditional Tuscan Ribollita Soup

Ribollita is a hearty and robust Tuscan soup. Its name means ‘reboiled’ because traditionally, it was made in large quantities and reheated over several days, improving its flavor. Packed with vegetables, beans, and stale bread, Ribollita is a wonderful way to use up leftovers and is a great example of a ‘peasant dish’ turned delicacy.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound kale or Swiss chard stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 1/2 head savoy cabbage cored and chopped
  • 1 can 15 ounces cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 stale Italian bread loaf torn into pieces
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, cooking until they are softened, around 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, and tomato paste and cook for another minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, along with the kale, cabbage, and cannellini beans to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Add the torn bread to the pot, followed by the vegetable broth and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Once the vegetables are tender, remove the bay leaf. Using a potato masher or back of a spoon, gently mash some of the soup to thicken it. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
  • Serve the soup warm, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. The soup tastes even better the next day, once the flavors have had a chance to meld together.
  • Enjoy this hearty, rustic Italian dish and transport your taste buds to the heart of Tuscany!


As with any traditional recipe, there are many variations of Ribollita. Some add pancetta for extra flavor, others add different types of vegetables or beans. Feel free to modify this recipe according to your preference and available ingredients.
Keyword comforting food