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Ribollita Tuscan Vegetable Bean Soup foodiewithfamily.com
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5 from 1 vote

Ribollita - Tuscan Vegetable Bean Soup

Ribollita - Tuscan Vegetable Bean Soup is a bowl brimming with fresh vegetables, tender cannellini beans, and flavourful broth thickened with Tuscan bread and has its origins as a peasant dish.
Author Rebecca Lindamood

Ingredients

For the Ribollita:

  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon diced
  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and diced into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots scrubbed and diced into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 ribs of celery with leaves if available, scrubbed and diced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 large cloves garlic peeled and minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium zucchini scrubbed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans or 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 11 ounces baby kale or chopped kale
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • Optional but tasty: the rind of a hunk of Parmesan cheese
  • 4 1- inch thick slices of stale Tuscan or Italian bread with the crusts removed cut into small cubes
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves chiffonade of basil, stacked up, rolled up tight then cut into thin strips

For the Parmesan Soup Croutons:

  • 6 to 8 slices of fresh Tuscan or Italian Bread 3/4-inch thick
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese per slice of bread

Instructions

  • Place the pancetta in a large pot placed over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is golden brown and the fat has rendered out into the pan. Add the olive oil, then add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, kosher salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir and drop the heat to medium low. Sweat the vegetables, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the cannellini beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir well, then add the kale, chicken broth or stock, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and parmesan rind. The kale may be mounding above the top rim of the stock pot. Don't worry. It will shrink to almost nothing! Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. After it boils, drop the heat to medium low and let it simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the sprigs of thyme and rosemary, then add the bread cubes and stir. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the bread has fallen apart and thickened the soup. Remove from the heat and stir in the chiffonade of basil.

To Prepare the Parmesan Soup Croutons:

  • Turn the broiler of your oven on HIGH. Brush both sides of the pieces of bread with extra virgin olive oil. Place on a rack 6 inches under the broiler and toast until golden brown. Flip the bread over, mound the top of each slice of bread with 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and return the pan under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly, melted, and golden brown in places.

To Serve the Ribollita:

  • Ladle the Ribollita into serving bowls and top each serving with a Parmesan Cheese Crouton.