Ribollita Soup, packed with hearty vegetables, infused with great Italian flavors, and served with toasted bread is not just a soup, it’s a meal! Ribollita, also called Tuscan Bread Soup Ribollita, is a traditional recipe made in Tuscany during the Middle Ages. We hope you enjoy this Italian Ribollita Soup Recipe!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easy to make. This Ribollita Soup Recipe is meant to be an imperfectly rustic and hearty soup which requires that little thought or skill be given to the cutting of vegetables. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to prepping my vegies (see my ingredients shot below – obsess much?). Don’t be me, just let go; imagine yourself as a farmer in the Tuscan countryside: stay loose and take each moment as it comes; a carrot is a carrot, don’t overthink it. I’m saying this to myself next time I cook! Beyond that, everything goes into one pot and the bread is easily prepared by applying a little olive oil to both surfaces and then into the oven for a quick toast. The ingredients in Tuscan Bread Soup Ribollita are all basic and easily acquired at any grocery store, so go for it!
- Great flavors and very fulfilling. Ribollita Soup is an exploration of traditional Italian flavors: garlic, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and fresh basil all serve at the forefront of this recipe. Ribollita, while healthy, is also very satiating; hefty slices of toasted bread resting on the rim of a steaming bowl of Italian soup promises to quench any appetite. If you do this right, you’ll avoid the late-night-snack-shuffle to the fridge. I advise two slices of bread but you can start with one and see if the fridge doesn’t plays it’s siren song in the wee hours. I also enjoy a little spice in most of my dishes; you’ll find that the red pepper flakes in this Italian Ribollita Soup Recipe warm things up a bit.
- This soup is rich with nutrients. While not an exhaustive list, here are just a few:
- Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables contain anti-inflammatory properties (1)
- One of the main Health Benefits of Kale is that it contains a considerable amount of flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants (2).
- Beans are a vital source of protein for vegan diets and are rich in magnesium, iron, folate, potassium, and zinc (3).
A Short History of Tuscan Bread Soup Ribollita
Ribollita Soup was frequently made by hard-working peasants during the Middle Ages in the countryside of Tuscany. A common scenario for the making of this soup finds these wonderful people gathering scraps of stale and discarded bread from the luxurious estates they served under rigor and toil. They would then use these morsels for inclusion in their homemade soups. The Italian word Ribollita means “reboiled”; Ribollita was made in large batches for the purpose of reheating throughout the week to feed hungry, hard-working families. I love how simplicity and necessity inform great culinary creations. The warmth of this dish echoes to us from a time when families had little but love and food.
Ribollita Soup Recipe
- Olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- Red pepper flakes
- Vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper
- Italian baguette
How to Make Ribollita Soup
- Sweat onions and carrots. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat; add onions and carrots and sweat for 5 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and pepper flakes; cook for a minute longer until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes and broth. Pour tomatoes into the soup pot and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat, mixing frequently with the carrots and onions. Pour in vegetable broth to deglaze the pot.
- Add cabbage and potatoes. Place the cabbage and potatoes into the pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for roughly 15 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Stir in kale and beans. Add kale and beans, simmer 10 minutes longer then turn off the heat and stir in the basil; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Prepare the bread. Either tear chunks of bread from a baguette or cut them with a serrated knife. Lightly brush all bread surfaces with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
- Toast bread. Broil bread for roughly 1 to 2 minutes or until golden-brown.
- Serve. Ladle soup into serving bowls, add bread and garnish with vegan Parmesan and either basil or parsley.
- Use day-old bread. In addition to toasting the bread, this creates a crunchier bread which holds together more firmly in the Ribollita Soup broth.
- Tear or cut the bread, you choose. There’s no perfect way to do this but it’s common to just tear the bread into chunks and then toast it. I love slices of toast so it’s default for me to go that route.
- When to add the bread. You can add the bread near the end of the cooking time so it sops in and becomes more of an ingredient in the Italian Ribollita Soup Recipe and less of a garnish. Or, if you’re the fastidious type who irons their socks, you can place it perfectly still, half-submerged, at the edge of the bowl where you can grab it without getting your hands dirty. You might’ve noticed in my photos that I applied the casually-soaking-toast look and no this doesn’t mean I iron my socks. Stop it.
- Spice, mild or hot? While the Italian Ribollita Soup Recipe only calls for a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes, they do add a fair amount of spice as they continue to release heat while they cook in the soup. If you’re less adventurous, then consider adding just the slightest pinch of red pepper flakes.
If you enjoyed this Ribollita Soup, here are other great Italian recipes you will enjoy!
Vegan Italian Recipes
Healthy Soup and Stew Recipes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium-sized red onion, minced
- 1 cup of carrots, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 2 cups green cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup red potatoes, diced
- 2 cups kale, ribs removed
- 1 can (15 oz.) Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 slices of Italian baguette, 1/4-inch thick
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the onions and carrots and sweat for 5 minutes.
- Add the Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and pepper flakes and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
- Pour the can of tomatoes into the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour in the vegetable broth to deglaze the pot.
- Place the cabbage and potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for roughly 15 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Add the kale and beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the basil.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Slice baguette into 12 slices of bread, 1/4 inch thick. Brush each side of the bread with olive oil
- Place bread in an oven and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden-brown.
- Place slices of bread in serving bowls, ladle in soup, and garnish with vegan Parmesan and parsley or basil.
Use red pepper flakes sparingly. Even though this recipe calls for only a 1/4 teaspoon of flakes, these still add a fair amount of heat to the dish.
Use day-old bread for this recipe.
Bread needn't be sliced, it's common to tear the bread into chunks and then broil it.
You may also want to rub the bread with garlic for added flavor.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 713Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 2054mgCarbohydrates: 129gFiber: 10gSugar: 23gProtein: 27g
The Vegan Plate attempts to provide accurate information. However, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.