Ribollita - Twice-Cooked Florentine Vegetable Soup

My daughter told me that Ribollita was a soup that I had to make.  So, when I saw Bittman's recipe on the New York Times recipe feed, I decided that there couldn't be a better time.  It was raining and it was cold!  My daughter also followed up with the comment that she used Biba's recipe that was in Biba's Italy.  Both recipes had an appeal so I went to work doing my own variation...what can go wrong with vegetable soup?!  Nothing.  It was delicious!

First, what is Ribollita?  Ribollita is a Tuscan soup that is made with inexpensive vegetables such as cannellini beans, savoy cabbage, kale, carrots and onions to name a few and it is served over day old bread.  The word ribollita means "reboiled" so in the process it will be brought to a boil twice or, as the ancient soup came about:  reheated and then served over stale bread!  However you choose to do it and whatever vegetables you choose to use, it will be good!  I know that I didn't use the exact measurements for the vegetables.  I stayed in the range but put together what looked good to me....

Twice-Cooked Florentine Vegetable Soup
and Biba's Italy, Biba Caggiano

5 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed (about a tablespoon)
2 celery stalks (about 2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large potato, peeled and coarsely diced (about 2 cups)
1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 small bunch of leafy kale (I used about 3/4 of the bunch)
1-15 oz. can diced Italian tomatoes (San Marzano, if available)
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock may be used) (Add additional based on the amount of vegetables that you are using.  I ended up with six cups of stock.)
5 thick slices crusty Italian bread
1/2  cup shredded Parmesan

Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  When it is hot, add the onion, celery, and carrots.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, parsley and stir until the garlic blooms.  Add the kale, cabbage, potato.  Stir.  Add the tomatoes and juices, drained and rinsed beans, rosemary, thyme and enough stock to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan partially with the lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove the rosemary and thyme stems.  Taste.  Adjust the seasonings.

Ladle soup into bowls and place a slice of bread on top of the soup.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and top with shredded Parmesan.  Put the bowls under the broiler until the cheese is browned.


This was a hearty and filling soup!

I am participating in Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage.


  1. Kate, It's an attractive bowl of winter comfort and it sounds good too! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  2. I can see why you believed you had to make it.

  3. I've made this once before and it was delicious! Thanks for the reminder :)

  4. Recipe has been printed. Love the bowl bowls.

  5. Hi Kate:)
    New here. Came across your blog while searching out a recipe for Ribollita. This is exactly what I was looking for:) Thank you to you and to your daughter for sharing....

    I hope you don't mind but I've pinned it for National Soup Month! (which is January:)

    1. Your soup was a huge hit around here, Kate! Thanks again!!!

  6. This is totally my kind of soup. In fact, looking at it makes me want to have a bowl right now. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Visiting from Foodie Friday.

  7. What a beautiful soup Kate. I must try it. We adore soup.

  8. Sounds yummy! And so perfect for a chilly, rainy day!

  9. Hi Kate, Your daughter is one smart cookie! I need to make ribollita too. Until reading your post and recipe, I have never heard of this soup, possibly because my family is not from Tuscany, but rather from Emilia-Romagna. No matter, I always learning about a new delicious recipe and it's been so cold this winter, that this sounds wonderful to warm our souls! Thank you for sharing it!

  10. I can hardly wait to try this recipe, it will be perfect for our cold winter days. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  11. I think I need to make this as soon as I am able!

  12. This looks like the stuff vegetable soup dreams are made of! What great flavor packed in.

  13. This looks like the stuff vegetable soup dreams are made of! What great flavor packed in.

  14. This sounds absolutely perfect for a Soup Saturday or Meatless Monday meal. Pinning on my to try board.


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