Rustic Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)
This classic Ribollita recipe makes the most wonderfully comforting, delicious Tuscan White Bean Soup. It’s a thick, rich soup that includes day-old bread, tomatoes, beans, and kale for a hearty and satisfying dish.
Sure, you’re used to soup being served with bread on the side. But have you yet discovered the magic of bread soup recipes?
That’s right… Bread in the soup.
We fell in love with “bread soups” on a trip to Italy several years ago. The most common varieties are Pappa Al Pomodoro, a chunky tomato soup thickened with day-old bread, and Ribollita, a vegetarian white bean and vegetable soup thickened with chopped Italian bread.
Classic Ribollita – Tuscan White Bean Soup
This Ribollita recipe includes a terrific combination of carrots, tomatoes, tender white beans and kale, plus chunks of day-old bread.
Adding the bread not only thickens the soup, but it is also (was) a way to use up leftovers to avoid waste and stretch the meal to fill more bellies. Plus, it also gives the soup flavor a comforting undertone and makes the texture almost like a deliciously rich porridge.
You can easily tweak Tuscan White Bean Soup to make a vegetarian or vegan version, and it can even be prepared gluten-free. It’s ready in about an hour, so this soup is perfect for a relaxing weekend dinner that is sure to please everyone at the table!
Ingredients You Need for Ribollita
Here is everything needed to make a wonderfully satisfying Tuscan White Bean Soup from scratch:
- Olive oil – or preferred cooking oil
- Ciabatta bread – or other rustic Italian bread
- Sweet onion – peeled and chopped
- Carrots – peeled and sliced into coins
- Celery – chopped
- Garlic – minced
- Vegetable broth – or veggie stock + water
- Canned San Marzano Tomatoes – crushed or dice
- Canned cannelli beans – drained, no need to rinse
- Parmesan cheese – shredded or shaved
- Anchovy paste – omit if vegetarian or vegan
- Seasonings – dried oregano, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper
- Tuscan kale – also known as Italian kale or lacinato kale
- Salt and pepper – to taste
How to Make This Rustic Ribollita Recipe
First, wash and chop all of the produce. Then set a large 7-8 quart saucepot over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Add in the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Generously season with salt and pepper. Sauté the veggies for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set out a rimmed baking sheet, and line with parchment if you like. Tear the bread (sliced or unsliced) into large bite-sized chunks and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss well. Then spread the bread out in an even layer. Toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, flipping once. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn! Remove from the oven and set aside.
Next, to the soup pot add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, cannellini beans, parmesan cheese, anchovy paste, oregano, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
Partially cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. If the soup starts to thicken up a bit too much then turn the heat down to medium-low. Also, feel free to stir in 1 to 3 cups of water, one at a time, if needed.
Now add in the chopped kale and toasted bread pieces. Stir well and simmer the soup for another 5 minutes, until the bread nearly disintegrates into the broth. The texture should be thick like a stew.
Get the Complete (Printable) Rustic Ribollito Recipe (Tuscan White Bean Soup) Below. Enjoy!
Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Add extra parmesan cheese, if you like, and serve the Ribollita warm.
Ribollita Soup Recipe Variations
- To make this a vegetarian white bean soup recipe, omit the anchovy paste and add extra salt.
- For a vegan version, don’t add the anchovy paste and use your preferred plant-based Parmesan “cheese.”
- Tuscan kale can be swapped with red kale or curly kale. Or, skip the kale altogether and include baby spinach leaves.
- Make this recipe gluten-free by swapping the bread with your favorite GF Italian bread.
Tuscan White Bean Soup Serving Suggestions
Enjoy bowls of hot Ribollita with extra pieces of crusty bread on the side, or with a refreshing and healthy side salad.
Homemade Ribollita Storage and Reheating Tips
This soup is certainly best when enjoyed freshly prepared, when the kale is tender and the pieces of bread are just right. You can keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or so, and reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop.
I do not recommend that you freeze Tuscan White Bean veggie and bread soup.
Looking for More Easy and Delicious Soup Recipe?
- Vegetarian Navy Bean Soup
- Rustic (Vegan) White Bean and Kale Soup
- Tuscan Lentil Soup Recipe
- Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil
- Healthy Mulligatawny Soup
Rustic Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)
- 4 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 8 ounces Ciabatta bread or rustic Italian bread
- 1 large sweet onion peeled and chopped
- 3-4 carrots peeled and sliced
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 8-10 cloves garlic minced
- 64 ounces vegetable broth
- 28 ounce San Marzano Tomatoes crushed or diced
- 30 ounces cannellini beans 2 cans, drained
- ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese + extra for serving
- 1 ½ teaspoon anchovy paste *optional for vegetarian
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Chop all the produce.
- Set a large 7-8 quart saucepot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot. Add in the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Generously season with salt and pepper. Sauté the veggies for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set out a rimmed baking sheet. Tear the bread (sliced or unsliced) into chunks and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoon olive oil and toss well. Then spread the bread chunks out in an even layer. Toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, flipping once. Set aside.
- To the soup pot, add in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, cannellini beans, parmesan, anchovy paste, oregano, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper.
- Partially cover the pot and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low if needed. (If the soup base starts to thicken too much, feel free to add in 1-3 cups of water.)
- Add in the chopped kale and toasted bread pieces. Stir well and simmer another 5 minutes, until the bread disintegrates into the broth. The texture should be thick like a stew. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.
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