Tuscan Ribollita soup (Ribollita Toscana) is a creamy, Italian, full flavoured vegetable soup. Made with store cupboard ingredients and all those leftovers from the week, this budget friendly, autumnal soup is perfect for an easy meal when the nights are starting to draw in. Get this healthy soup made and on the table in less than 45 minutes.
I'm back dreaming of the those rolling Toscana hills again - I can't help it. I always seem to come back to Italy when I'm cooking from the heart. And this dish really is from the heart. Its a homemade vegetable and bean soup - plain and simple. But this recipe has so much depth, flavour and tradition, that you know it just has to taste amazing.
Why make this recipe?
Tuscan Bean soup comes from making simple foods go a long way and also making sure that those simple foods don't go to waste. Some leftover carrots or celery? chuck em in. Some stale bread? Yep that goes in too! Its all about making the most of what you have and turning leftovers into a meal fit for a king.
This is the perfect recipe for the end of the week when you may have leftovers or food that needs to be used up. Its also really easy to make and super healthy - whats not to like?
If you're after some more Italian flavour and flare have a quick peek at my Amarone Risotto, or my homemade tiramisu, or how about a salami ragu? or if you're feeling really adventurous why not have a go at making your own pasta?
For this Tuscan ribollita soup recipe you will need a few simple ingredients, many of which are cupboard staples or possible leftovers.
Kale: Traditionally this recipe is made with black kale but any kind of kale or cabbage will work well here. I usually add the kale or cabbage at the very end and gently warm for 5 minutes so allowing it to soften whilst maintaining its colour and nutrients.
Parmesan: Freshly grated parmesan or pecorino is simply wonderful in this recipe. It adds a great depth of flavour and lovely a creamy texture. However, if you want to keep this soup strictly vegetarian then make sure to replace with a vegetarian cheese. Or if you want a super healthy vegetable soup then just skip the cheese.
Beans: Cannellini beans work well here as they are white and pearly and stand out against the other ingredients. They are also easy to blend down and so help to create a creamy soup without adding cream, milk, yogurt or cheese. Any other kind of white bean will work just as well.
Vine tomatoes: For the tomatoes I like to use baby vine tomatoes, which are slightly sweeter than the larger version. However, either the baby or the large variety work just as well. Either use two large vine tomatoes sliced and deseeded or weight out around 140g of baby vine tomatoes.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and leeks and cook on a medium heat until softened. Add garlic, dried thyme, carrot and celery then stir and continue to cook.
- Next add the tomatoes, stock and fresh sprigs of thyme. Stir and bring to the boil. Pop on a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes remove the lid and stir in the cannellini beans and freshly grated parmesan. Cook for a 2-3 minutes.
- Next transfer ⅓ of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the smooth part of the soup back in the chunky soup and mix well.
- Stir in the black kale or cabbage. Pop the lid back on and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the kale has just started to wilt.
- Remove the lid, season with sea salt, black pepper and parmesan, then serve.
- TIP: To stick the traditional recipe of Tuscan Ribollita soup, line the serving bowls with stale bread (or slices of ciabatta if you prefer) and pour the soup over the top. The bread soaks up the soup and thickens.
Honestly, this must be the best soup! Each bowl is just under 300 calories, with only 8g fat and 3g saturates. Its also full of veg - as you can probably see, each bowl has a whopping 4 servings of veg in it. Theres also 9g of fibre, 22g protein, 37g carbs, and its high in potassium and vitamin A (good for your heart muscles and your immune system). So you get the picture its nutritious, its well balanced - this is one healthy vegetable soup!
You can definitely get by without vegetable stock, vegetable stock is basically vegetables boiled, with herbs and seasoning, to release their flavours and then conveniently packaged for you! just add water in place of the stock and cook the vegetables until they are soft then season the cooking water well. Add dried Italian seasoning to enhance that authentic flavour!
To stick the traditional recipe of Tuscan Ribollita soup, line the serving bowls with stale bread (or slices of ciabatta if you prefer) and pour the soup over the top. The bread soaks up the soup and thickens it.
Other soup recipes you might like:
- Leek and potato soup
- Cauliflower soup
- Hungarian mushroom soup
- Clam chowder
- Pumpkin soup
- Mulligatawny chicken and wild rice soup
- Celery, apple and blue cheese soup
Tuscan Ribollita Soup
- ½ tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 large onion 200g finely chopped
- 1 Leek 80g chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 carrot 150g finely chopped
- 2 celery 100g sticks finely chopped
- 2 medium vine tomatoes deseeded and roughly cubed 140g
- 600 ml vegetable stock plus extra water if required
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tin cannellini beans 240g drained
- 20 g freshly grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
- 100 g black kale or cabbage
- Sea salt black pepper and extra parmesan to season
- Ciabatta or stale bread to serve
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and leeks and cook on a medium heat until softened. Add garlic, dried thyme, carrot and celery then stir and continue to cook. Next add the tomatoes, stock and fresh sprigs of thyme. Stir and bring to the boil. Pop on a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes remove the lid and stir in the cannellini beans and freshly grated parmesan. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Next transfer ⅓ of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the smooth part of the soup back in the chunky soup and mix well. Stir in the black kale. Pop the lid back on and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the kale has just started to wilt.
- Remove the lid, season with sea salt, black pepper and parmesan, then serve.
This post was first published in February 2018. Updated in January 2021 with new ingredients photo, step-by-step photos and recipe tips.
Niki from Tuscany
of course minestrone or vegetable soup is always good, but to make ribollita it takes much more than a bunch of vegetables. It is made in 3-4 parts, first you cook the beans and set aside. Then you make the tomato sauce base with leek, onions, canned tomatoes etc. When this is ready add 2-3 kind of chopped cabbage (kale and Savoy or the wrinkly leaved cabbage), potatoes and carrots chunks and cover, stirring occasionally until volume is halved. To this you add the cannellini beans part of which you may puree, and its cooking broth. If too dry add a bit of broth or water but it has to stay thick. Finally you layer 2-3 day old (not dried) , thinly sliced Tuscan bread, soaking each layer of bread with the soup until the whole soup is in the bow. Rest covered over night then in a non stick pan put 2-3 TBSP olive oil and as much minced garlic clove you like, heat and spoon the amount of soup you plan to eat stirring until it is warmed up. Serve with olive oil on top and - non traditional- grated parmesan cheese . Boiled twice is the meaning of Ribollita so the technique is fundamental. 🙂
I made this soup and it was delicious. I have celiac, so I eliminated the bread and added more cannellini beans. My husband loved it too!!
Hi Donna, so pleased to hear that you and your husband enjoyed the soup and that you were able to adapt it to suit you 👍🏻😁 thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 😊 Debbie x
Does this freeze well?
Hi Madison, yes I usually cool, transfer to sealed containers and freeze for upto 3 months. Defrost in the fridge over night then reheat in a pan until piping hot throughout. Hope you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for your comment!! Debbie x
Made this soup yesterday and it’s fantastic!!! Super comforting and filling with the colder weather. Wonderful flavor. Will definitely keep making this!
Thanks for taking the time to comment Lauren 😊 Glad to hear you enjoyed the soup!! Debbie xx
I make this at least once a week! To get my husband to eat it, I put sauté a half pound of Italian mild ground sausage. I also add zucchini to it so I can get as many vegetables into him as possible. One of our favorites! Thanks!
Hi Paula, thanks so much for leaving such a lovely comment. So pleased to hear that you get so much use out of this recipe. I also add meat to it to get my husband to eat it 😂 usually leftover shredded chicken and it always goes down a treat. Hope you continue to enjoy it!! Debbie x
Made the soup as instructed, with lentigo kale. It was super tasty, and serving it with ciabatta was icing on the cake. I will definitely be making it again!
Hi Meggy, Thanks so much for the lovely comment. So pleased that you liked the soup and that the recipe worked well for you 🙂 Debbie x
This soup was great. My husband and I actually both loved it. Usually we both like very different foods but not in this case. I will definitely be putting this in our regular rotation. We did omit the Parmesan and used baby spinach instead of kale because that’s what I had on hand. Thanks again for the great recipe!
Thanks so much for the lovely comment. So glad to hear that you enjoyed the soup and I love the sound of your baby spinach substitution 😋 Debbie
do you add cabbage at same time as you would for kale
Hi Brian, Yes I would add cabbage at the same time as you would for kale. Both will over cook if you add them too early, so loosing colour. Hope you enjoy the recipe. Thanks, Debbie
I teach cooking classes for kids and we do not use blenders in the class. Any tips on how to make this without the blending while keeping the creamy texture? I'm excited to introduce this to my kiddos 🙂
Hi Juliana, thanks for getting in touch - great to hear you're hoping to use this recipe in one of your classes. You could just use a masher to crush some of the cooked veggies and beans. The beans and carrots should mash up really well and still give that creamy texture. Hope this helps! Do let me know how it goes! 🙂 Debbie x
Easy and delicious, perfect for 2. Would have posted picture but, too late it’s gone
Thanks for your comment Pat - great to hear that you enjoyed the recipe:-)
Hi Debbie! Loved this delicious soup!
Ate it for a day, and added honey glazed ham leftover......bad idea. So.. to correct it, I added left over roasted butternut squash, a little cilantro, and turmeric.
Delish! I wouldn’t add the meat again, was trying to get my husband to eat it, with the added ham and he did, just two bowls. So, then I fixed it up, to the way I eat..ha ha but wish I could of taken out the ham🙃
I hope you don’t mind, I altered it a bit, but I’ve been eating it for breakfast and lunch. I will make this again, and I’ve froze some too! Happy Day😆👍
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. So great to hear that you and your husband have enjoyed the soup. I've actually added leftover chicken to this soup before and that seems to work well - so you could maybe try that next time 🙂 Hope this will now make a regular appearance on your dinner table 🙂 Debbie x
Hello! This is on my menu for next week and I'm excited to try it! Looks delicious!
Im wondering if you have ever tried adding a meat to it?? Do you think sausage or any other meat would be good added?
Thanks for your comment! Great to hear you will be trying this out next week. It's one of my favourite soup recipes!!
I have added chicken to this recipe before and it worked really well. It's usually leftover chicken from a roast that I use - so i just shred the cooked meat and add at the end to heat through before serving. Sausage meat also sounds like a great idea though and i imagine definitely worth a go. Let me know if you do add a meat and how it goes hope you enjoy it:-)
This looks absolutely delicious. Any idea how much potassium per serving? I have to track my potassium intake.
Hi Mary! Thanks for your comment, pleased to hear you like the look of this soup - it is a good one!! Yes theres around 1220mg of potassium per 820g serving.
If you scroll to the notes section under the recipe card you will see a blue link that says 'click here for traffic light nutritional info' this allows you to download a pdf of the detailed nutrients, including potassium. This is included on most of my recipes. Hope that's helps!! 🙂 thanks!! Debbie
Delicious and comforting, this is going to be on repeat this winter!
So glad to hear that you enjoyed the soup Tilly! Its one of my favourites 😀
Hi Debbie, I just wanted to say that I made this soup for this month's #CookOnceEatTwice and really really liked it. I had to miss out the parmesan as I got to that stage of the recipe and realised I'd run out but it was still delicious. x
Thanks so much Corina! So glad that you enjoyed it, and thank you for all your hard work with #cookonceeattwice such a great link up and there's always so much variety 🤗👍🏻
Oh wow this looks so good! This looks like our perfect bowl of goodness. I have pinned this on my "to try" board as this is a MUST TRY!!! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x
Gosh this looks absolutely incredible!Perfect winter warming food.Beautiful!
Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food
I absolutely love Italian soups, and especially those that finish with a hunk of bread soaking up and thickening all that great juice! YUM!
This soup looks amazing and now that Valentine's Day and pancake day are over I really feel I need to eat some healthy meals just like this to make up for all the indulgence! Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x
Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie
Oh I love this recipe...did I ever tell you I spent 6 weeks in Florence studying Italian? I stayed with a real traditional Italian couple and we had this practically every other meal (as a primo - obvs, there was always something else to follow...even though this on its own would have been plenty for me!!) - it was always delicious and seeing this brings back such happy memories. I now make my own version, which is on my blog somewhere, but I make it more as a pasta dish than a soup, and it's definitely served as a main course in our house!! Eb x