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Ribollita originates from the region of Tuscany in Italy. With peasant origins it starts out as a hearty vegetable soup.

The next day this soup is then layered in a casserole dish with stale bread to make what the Italians call zuppa di pane (bread soup). The layered bread soup if there are left-overs is baked again until hot and drizzled with olive oil: it is then called ribollita. Ribollita in Italian means re-boiled. For our purposes here we will be making the hearty vegetable soup and serving it with crusty bread.

A host of vegetables, beans, broth and fresh herbs is what gives this soup its' heartiness and flavor. It's easy to put together and budget friendly. My version will easily feed 6 people a hearty and wholesome meal for $2.32 per person and that includes the bread!

The inspiration for the Ribollita came from my Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian Cooking. I did not follow the recipe 100% as I did not use cauliflower and I added fresh garlic. I mean hey, what's an Italian dish without a bit of garlic? Also I used more swiss chard than their recipe called for because I like it - hence the green color of the stock!

  • 6 cups chicken stock 
  • 1 - 32 oz. container vegetable stock
  • 1 sweet onion - medium dice
  • 2 carrots - peeled, sliced 1/4"
  • 1 long celery stalk (or 2 hearts of celery stalks) - ribs removed and sliced 1/4"
  • 1 bunch kale or swiss chard - coarse chop
  • 2 small zucchini - sliced length wise then 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 boiling potato (red skin or Yukon gold) - peeled (or not) and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
  • 2 15.5 oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup mix of: chopped flat leaf or curly parsley, rosemary and sage
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • rustic country bread (optional)
  • parmesan cheese - grated (optional)
You will need a large stock pot for making the Ribollita - at least a 6 quart stock pot. If you prep all your vegetables and herbs first, putting this together is a breeze!
  1. Prep all your vegetables and herbs.
  2. Heat your stock pot over medium heat and add in the olive oil.
  3. Begin with the onions, celery and carrots. Add those to the pan, season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 8 minutes.
  4. Next, add in the potato, zucchini and kale and the broths.
  5. To the broth add in the herbs and the cannellini beans.
  6. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low uncovered for about 1 1/4 hours.
  7. Taste for additional salt or pepper.
  8. When the soup is ready, serve with a rustic bread like sourdough.

The weather here in Connecticut has been a beast. The temperatures have ranged below 20° with an even greater wind chill. And today as I write this it's snowing and we are expecting up to 12 inches of snow! I am so glad we have this tasty and hearty soup to warm us. I loved making it as it was so easy to put together. And the taste - well the Italians believe in simplicity with their food and let the ingredients shine. Ribollita does not disappoint. Be sure to soak up the broth with your bread and get every last bit!

This recipe did call for quite a bit of chopping and if you use a knife with a dull blade, you can easily cut yourself as the knife will slip. If you cook often and have invested in decent knives for the kitchen it is important to keep an edge on those knives. We use our steel that came with our knife set for everyday touch ups. For a complete overhaul to sharpen all the knives, we invested in an electric knife sharpener. Because we do cook a lot we tend to sharpen our knives with this handy tool about every 30 days or so.

I have a host of soups on this blog that are delicious and hearty enough for a main meal. You can find the soup recipes here.

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