Ribollita – a rustic Tuscan soup full of veggies


In my decluttering I’ve had a wonderful time going down memory lane, I came across some old recipes from when I did some cooking classes in Italy (back in the day when living in London and you could fly to Florence for 5 pounds!). We were taught how to make Ribollita which is a cabbage based Tuscan soup that you can really throw anything in from the crisper and it will work add beans and bread and it’s a rustic, hearty, filling meal. I have added tomatoes to this recipe but it also works well without – you really can do any variations you like to this one, no two versions need to be the same!

The traditional method to making this soup involves soaking the beans overnight which by all means do but I used tinned beans which means it can be made in about 40 minutes.

If you are wanting to increase the amount of veggies in your diet this is a fabulous way to do it and the added bonus is that you will probably give your system a good clean out at the same time! If you don’t think your kids, if you have them, will take kindly to this (mine didn’t) it might be a good time to pull out the old faithful Honey, Soy Chicken Pieces for them.

Ribollita – a rustic Tuscan soup full of veggies


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 4 - 6 rounds pancetta, roughly chopped (optional depending on whether you want to keep it vegetarian)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 g tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 red cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 5 - 6 kale leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 - 3 English spinach, Silver Beet Calvo Nero or Tuscan kale leaves (whatever taste you prefer here), roughly chopped
  • 2 C chicken stock or bone broth if you have it or vegetable stock if you want it to be vegetarian
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable stock concentrate & 1 C water - if you don't have this just increase your stock above by 1 C
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and tin liquid reserved
  • 1 tsp dried herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta or bread of your choice (I used a rye sour dough in the picture) plus extra garlic and olive oil


  1. In a large heavy based pan heat oil and saute onion, leek carrot, celery, garlic and pancetta stirring for about 5 minutes or until the veggies start to soften.
  2. Add tomato paste and stir through and then add the tomatoes, stir through
  3. Add the cabbages, stock, beans, herbs and bay leaf and mix together
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes adding the reserved bean liquid &/or water if it gets too thick an stir occassionally
  5. While the "stoup" is cooking slice the ciabatta, drizzle with oil and rub with garlic and toast/grill until crunchy.
  6. To serve place a piece of the bread in the bottom of the bowls add the soup and then top with torn up pieces of the crunchy bread
  7. Enjoy! (Tip it tastes even better the next day!)

I’m not normally a cabbage fan but I love this soup.  It’s filling, healthy and belly warming.

Have you rediscovered any old favourite recipes lately?


12 comments on “Ribollita – a rustic Tuscan soup full of veggies

  1. Kim @Landofzonkt
    June 30, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I love a recipe like this… Prob be be pulling out the honey soy chicken for the kids… But I’d gobble it up no problem at all! Yum!

    • Vicki
      July 1, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Yes the kids turned their noses up to the Ribollita but I love it and they love the honey soy chicken! Everyones happy!

  2. Dani @ House in Tillford
    August 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    This is a great hearty winter recipe!

    • Vicki
      August 1, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you. It’s filling and yummy!

  3. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    June 10, 2016 at 7:19 am

    This looks comfort in a bowl and as I’m so obsessed with soaking beans right now, I’m going to have to give this a go! I miss those heady days of Ryanair and Easyjet when we could pop on over to Europe for almost pennies – but now I have this recipe, I can have a taste of Italy right here in Sydney!

    • Vicki
      June 10, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Oh yes those were the days!

  4. jayne
    June 14, 2016 at 9:46 am

    What a hearty healthy winter soup! cooking classes in Italy sound wonderful, great memories!

    • Vicki
      June 14, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Fabulous memories – oh back in the day!!

  5. Susan
    July 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Looks fantastic – a perfect winter soup! 🙂

  6. Susan
    July 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Looks fantastic – a perfect winter soup! 🙂

    • Vicki
      August 16, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      It’s very hearty (sorry for my slow reply!)

  7. Susan
    July 13, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Sorry for the double post, Vicki! 😐

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