Jan 13 2011

Recipe: Ribollita (Rechauffe of bread and vegetable soup)

Published by at 1:30 am under Italian recipes,Recipes,Tuscany,Vegetarian


Usually, comfort foods are laden with gravies and hearty meats, but, it IS the new year and I at least wanted to make it somewhat on the healthy side, and deliver a deliciously savory dish that vegetarians and meat-eaters can guiltlessly enjoy whilst bundled up during these cold months.  For this dish, I decided to pull from the “Tuscan Cookery” by Elisabetta Piazzesi. [English edition ©2003 by Casa Editice Bonechi, via Cairolo] maybe it spoke to me because I just recently watched “Eat Pray Love” on a plane while traveling over the holidays, and got a craving for some delicious Italian cuisine.

RIBOLLITA (Rechauffe of bread and vegetable soup)


  • 1 Fairly large red-skinned onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Celery stick
  • 4 Potatoes
  • 10 Courgettes(Zucchini)
  • 300g/11oz. dried beans
  • bunch of Swiss chard
  • 1 Savoy cabbage
  • 1 Bunch of Tuscan ‘black’ cabbage or kale
  • 1 Leek
  • Tomato puree
  • 2 Days’ stale  Tuscan white bread


  1. Soak the dried beans and cook over a slow flame.
  2. In a pan, gently fry the onion, sliced.
  3. Add the other vegetables diced, with the exception of the cabbage, kale and beans,(which are added later)
  4. When the vegetables have sweated out their juice, cover with hot water and then add all the cabbage and kale shredded.
  5. Cover and simmer for an hour over medium heat.
  6. Add the cooked beans(some whole , some pureed), add salt and pepper as well.
  7. Leave to simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring frequently (the beans tend to stick to the bottom of the pan so this is an important step)
  8. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of tomato puree.
  9. Slice the stale bread and in an earthenware casserole, alternate layers of bread with the soup until the bread is well impregnated.
  10. Leave to stand for a day.


Remove the desired amount from casserole and heat it up or “re-boil” it as the name in Italian suggests.

And you have yourself a mouth-watering, hearty, yet healthy Italian dish.  It may take some prep time, but this news worthy meal is well worth the wait.

Buon Appetito!


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