Ribollita (Tuscan Winter Soup) Recipe

Ribollita Soup

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Soak Time: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
441 Calories
12g Fat
69g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 441
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 627mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 69g 25%
Dietary Fiber 12g 42%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 59mg 296%
Calcium 318mg 24%
Iron 8mg 45%
Potassium 1675mg 36%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ribollita is a hearty, comforting soup that is very traditional and popular throughout Tuscany, and particularly in Florence. It's essentially another way to use up stale Tuscan bread (since Tuscan bread is made without salt, it hardens quite quickly). It's made with an assortment of vegetables, cannellini beans, and Tuscan kale (a.k.a. dinosaur or lacinato kale). The first day it's made, it's more of a soup (called "minestra di pane," or "bread soup"), and then when reheated the next day it becomes ribollita (literally meaning "reboiled"), which is even better!


  • 1 pound (500 grams) dried white beans, cannellini or Navy beans, washed and soaked for 3 hours

  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped

  • 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped

  • 1 (6-inch) stalk celery, chopped

  • 1 small bunch parsley, flat-leaf, chopped

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 pound (500 grams) lacinato kale, or Tuscan kale, ribs removed and leaves chopped

  • 1 pound (500 grams) beet greens, or Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped

  • 1/2 pound (250 grams) potatoes, peeled and diced

  • Fine sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

  • 1/2 loaf white bread, thinly sliced, day-old crusty Italian bread

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Boil the beans in water to cover by about 2 inches (4 centimeters), adding more boiling water if need be to keep them submerged, and lightly salting them when they're almost done.

  3. At this point, sauté the onion, carrot, celery, and parsley in the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot.

  4. When the onion has become translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes, add the tomato paste and the cooking liquid from the beans.

  5. Add the kale, beet greens or chard, and potatoes.

  6. Stir in the cooked beans and season to taste with salt, pepper, and a sprig of thyme. 

  7. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and can be pierced easily with the tines of a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the thyme and discard.

  9. Take a serving dish that can be heated and fill it with alternating layers of thinly sliced bread and soup, making sure the bread is damp—until the soup is used up.

  10. Serve and enjoy!


Served immediately, this dish is called minestra di pane, or bread soup. However, it improves dramatically with age, so much that when it’s reheated and served the next day it’s called ribollita and is one of the few reasons to get excited about the arrival of winter.
Reheating does require some care lest the minestra di pane burn: You will likely find that it has absorbed liquid as it rested overnight and looks rather dry. Add a little water, enough to moisten it, and reheat it over a gentle flame, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

When it is bubbling hot, it is ready.
Serve it as a first course, with a cruet of extra-virgin olive oil so your diners can drizzle it on top of their soup according to their taste.

The wine? A light zesty red, for example, a Chianti Colli Fiorentini would go well.

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