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How to Make Ribollita (Tuscan Bread Soup)

OUR EIC, Andrew Cotto, learned how to make the hearty soup in a Tuscan restaurant over 20 years ago.

Ribollita is a Tuscan bread soup. I learned this hearty dish as a guest in the kitchen of a Tuscan restaurant 20 years ago when I was living in the hills south of Florence. The classic version contains prosciutto rinds and beef broth, but I skip the rinds and use vegetable broth because it’s a veggie-centered meal anyway, chock full of colorful things from the garden along with legumes and aromatics mixed with leftover bread that blends into the soup to create a silky texture. This effect from the bread is achieved by using day-old loaves, cut or ripped into chunks, and allowing them to sit in the soup for a few hours or even overnight when the ingredients join together, combining and enhancing flavors before being “reboiled” or “ribollita.”

Ribollita (Tuscan Bread Soup)

Ribollita (Tuscan Bread Soup)

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Recipe by andrewappetito Course: Recipes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 1/2 red onion minced

  • 2 medium-sized 2 carrots, one minced and the other diced

  • 2 2 celery stalks, one minced and the other diced

  • 1 1 zucchini diced

  • 2 2 Yukon Gold potatoes scrubbed and diced

  • 1/2 1/2 savoy cabbage sliced into ¼ inch strips

  • 1/2 1/2 purple cabbage sliced into ¼ inch strips

  • 2 cloves 2 garlic minced

  • 1 cup 1 canned cannellini beans (thoroughly rinsed)

  • 6 cups 6 vegetable stock

  • 2 tablespoons 2 dried oregano

  • Salt

  • 1/2 loaf 1/2 day-old Tuscan bread (or similar) cut or torn into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 olive oil + more for serving

  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

  • Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

Directions

  • Heat ¾ cup of olive oil in a wide and heavy pot (such as a Le Creuset) over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the minced onion, celery, and carrot. Season with salt, stir and let the soffritto sauté, stirring every five minutes for 15 total (keeping an eye out for burning).
  • Raise the heat slightly and add the garlic, the chopped carrots, celery, zucchini, potatoes, both cabbages, oregano, and beans. Season with salt and stir thoroughly into the soffritto.
  • Add all of the stock to the pot (it should slightly cover the vegetables; if not, add some water). Bring to a simmer and cook covered for roughly 30 minutes or until when the purple cabbage is tender. Take the pot off the heat.
  • Incorporate the bread into the pot. Cover.
  • Leave the pot for a few hours or overnight; reheat (to “reboil”), stir thoroughly, check for seasoning, and serve warm with a swirl of fresh oil and sprinkled Parmigiano on top.

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