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Ribolitta Italian bread and vegetable soup in a bowl

Tuscan Ribollita- Vegetable Bread Soup

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5 from 1 review

Leave it to Italians to find the ultimate soup that warms you up, and makes excellent use of leftovers. A classic example of the simple and flavorful cucina povera* (poor cooking), this “re-boiled” soup uses day-old bread and a wide array of seasonal produce (think: swiss chard, leeks, carrots, or whatever you hav in your fridge). As the flavors blend, this soup only gets tastier over a couple of days, making it the perfect weekday or weekend dinner(s)!

  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, cut into 2-inch ribbons
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans, half pureed half whole
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme, leaves and stem removed
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1 chunk, whole, (about 1 tablespoon) parmigiano cheese
  • 1 to 2 cups (2-inch) cubes stale bread
  • Optional: red pepper flakes for topping


  1. Place the olive oil, onion, and garlic in a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and garlic are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, until softened, about 8 more minutes. At this stage, add the kale, and cook – keep stirring – until the greens are very soft, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and their juice, break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon in the pot. Add 2 quarts of water, the bay leaf, the thyme, and beans. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  4. Add the bread cubes and parmigiano to the soup, and simmer until the bread is breaking apart and the soup is very thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the soup rest for several minutes, and then ladle into warmed bowls. Drizzle a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over each portion before serving. Optional: sprinkle a few red pepper flakes for extra heat.
  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian