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Discover Ribolita... 

Classic Tuscan Vegetable soup


When should I make it?

This is a winter dish. It's a thick and very filling soup and is a great way to use up those winter vegetables. To do this recipe properly you should make the soup the day before and then cook it again the following day with some stale bread (which is where the name "ribolito" comes from - meaning re-boiled).

Why not make a nice large batch? You can always portion it away and freeze it for a rainy day when you don't feel like cooking!

How long will it take?

Assuming you already have your stock, I would allow an hour to an hour and a half to make the actual soup base depending on how much you're making and your knife skills (as there's a fair bit of chopping!)

What ingredients do I need?

 You will need:

  • 2 onions
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • A good bunch of cavalo nero 
  • 2 courgettes (finely dhopped)
  • 1 tin Cannellini beans (drained)
  • Herbs - thyme and basil
  • 1 small tin of Italian tomatoes
  • 2 pints homemade stock
  • Olive oil
  • Parmasan cheese
  • Salt & Black Pepper
  • Stale bread (use a robust crusty bread like a Pugliese loaf)
The quantities are a guideline and should make enough soup for 4-6 people feel free to add more of the ingredient you like the most and less of those that you like less. 

Can I use any alternatives if I can find certain ingredients?

If you cannot find cavalo nero you could use something like swiss chard, savoy cabbage or kale.

What preparation do I need to do / what can I do in advance?

You need to make a good quality homemade stock. You also need to finely chop the celery, courgettes, onions and carrots. You will also need to peel and dice / cube the potatoes. If you are not using tinned cannellini beans you will need to soak and boil if dried or simply boil if fresh.

What are the main steps?


  • Gently fry the onions, celery and carrot in olive oil to make a sofrito
  • Meanwhile cook the cavalo nero in salted boiling water until al dente then remove, drain and coarsely chop.
  • Add the diced / cubed potatoes and courgettes to the sofrito followed by the tomatoes and stock.
  • Allow to cook for a few minutes
  • Then add the beans, herbs and cavalo nero
  • Continue to cook until all the vegetables (especially the potatoes) are soft.
  • Taste and season.
  • Traditionally this soup is left overnight and then the following day place some slices of stale bread in a baking tray, pour over the soup and reheat in the oven.

How should I serve it?

Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of parmasan cheese and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

Are there any variations to this recipe that I could try?

Why not try the recipe for Minestrone, just click here.

What are the origins of this recipe?

Ribolita comes from Tuscany

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