Ribollita – Vegetable Soup

by admin on October 31, 2008

Ribollita is a hearty, thick Tuscan soup with soft textures….it is really all vegetables with only the gleam of the cooking water.

I love this dish because of the flavors and the nutrients…and also because traditionally, you make a batch and then heat it up later…seasoning again with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Ribollita really means “reboiled”.  I love anything that I can prepare early!


  • 10 1/2 oz. Dried Cannellini Beans….soaked overnight
  • 2 Celery Stalks – trimmed and chopped
  • 2 Medium Red Onions – peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb. Swiss Chard – washed, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 lb. 12 oz. Kale or Savoy Cabbage – washed, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 9 oz Country Style Bread – cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • St. Helena Olive Oil Co. Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil view product


    1. Drain the soaked cannelini beans and put them in a large saucepan.  Cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil.  Remove any “scum” that comes to the top of the surface.  Lower heat a bit and cook for around an hour or until beans are tender.  Make sure the beans are always covered with water..add more if necessary. Oh…don’t forget to add some sea salt half way through…..our grey sea salt would work great…just a couple of big pinches.
    2. In a stockpot, saute the onion and celery in the Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil until soft.  Add the Swiss Chard and Kale or Savoy(in Tuscany they use Cavolo Nero) and saute a little longer…again until soft.
    3. Cover the ingredients with 12 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Add the tomato paste and sea salt and pepper.  Now, lower the heat and simmer for around an hour and 15 minutes.
    4. Put the bread pieces on a tray in the oven until they are very dry.  Remove and put aside.
    5. Drain the cannellini beans and keep about a cup of their cooking water.  Puree half of the beans with that cooking water.  Add both the puree and the rest of the beans to the stockpot in the last 10 minutes of the total cooking time.   Now you can just mix in the bread but traditionally you put a ladleful of the soup into a large soup dish….add some bread….and then ladle some more soup….then bread….until everything is combined.
  1. If you need a little more moisture you can add hot water.  But, remember, it’s not a traditional soup…it turns out like a bowl of stewed vegetables.

    LAST STEP…….DRIZZLE WITH GENEROUS AMOUNTS OF OUR TUSCAN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL…you can use Sevillano as well….the Napa Valley oils may be a bit big for this but if you are into the stronger flavors then give it a shot!

    I’ve noticed in Florence they add different ingredients of the season…the last dish I had included potatoes…..feel free to mix in anything that is in season!

    Let me know how it goes!

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