Ribollita is a Tuscan vegetable and bean soup using leftover bread to make a hearty stew-like meal. Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat bread? When you’re always dipping bread into your soup, why not just pop it right in? Since moving to Boston’s North End (also known as the city’s “Little Italy”), Ted and I have been on a mission to find the best pizza and the best loaf of bread. We’ve started to frequent Bricco, an Italian bakery selling artisan breads. After picking up a whole wheat loaf, it only seemed fitting to make Tuscan Bread and Bean Soup. The bread breaks apart to delightfuly thicken this soup. Flavored with parmesan and full of veggies, this will be a new cold weather staple.
Ingredients (serves 8 with 1½ c servings).
- 1 T light olive oil
- 1 t minced garlic
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and mandoline sliced into circles
- 3 stalks celery, thinly chopped
- 2 T tomato paste
- 4 c vegetable stock
- 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 oz) navy beans. rinsed and drained
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, no salt added
- Rind from Parmesan cheese, about 2″ x 1″
- 1 c frozen peas
- 3 c packed curly kale, finely chopped (how to prep here)
- 2 c crusty whole wheat bread cut into 1″ cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra parmesan to serve
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- In a large soup pot, sauté oil and garlic until sizzling and hot. Add in onions, carrots, and celery until tender. Stir in tomato paste and sauté until fragrant.
- Pour in stock, beans, and tomatoes. Mix in parmesan rind. Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Once simmering, mix in bread and cook for about 20 min. Soup should thicken as the bread breaks down and congeals.
- Fold in frozen peas and kale and continue simmering until peas are tender and kale is wilted, about 5 min.
- Remove parmesan rind and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dish up 1½ c servings. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and red pepper flakes.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Adapted from Real Simple‘s “Tuscan Bread Soup with Beans (Ribollita).”
Nutrition for 1 serving (1½ c).
NOTE: I bought our crusty loaf of whole wheat bread from a local Italian bakery in Boston’s North End. I estimated nutritional values based on similar loaves of bread, but not the exact match.
248 calories • 2.5 g fat (9%) • 43.3 g carbs (73%) • 10.5 g protein (18%) • 10.8 g fiber • 10.3 g sugar • 430 mg sodium
* These are estimates based off specific products I used and how I entered ingredients in a fitness tracker. This is completely subjective and used to give a rough nutritional estimate.