Italian Ribollita soup is a creamy, healthy, 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.
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 vegetable 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?
Ribollita Toscana 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.
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 soup recipe you will need a few simple ingredients, many of which are cupboard staples or usually 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.
Is ribollita soup healthy?
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!
What can I use if I don't have vegetable stock?
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!
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 tsp 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.