Ribollita is a hearty bean and vegetable stew from Tuscany, thickened with day-old bread. The Italian word ribollita means “reboiled,” as this soup was typically made by reboiling leftover bean and vegetable soups the next day, adding stale bread to create a thicker and more filling meal.

Serves 6-8

3 tbsp olive oil
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1-2 Parmesan rinds (or vegetarian alternative)
450g kale, stalks removed, leaves finely chopped
2 x 400g tins of cannellini or butter beans
1.4L vegetable or chicken stock
250g stale white country-style bread, torn into rough bite-sized chunks
Zest of 1 lemon

To serve:
Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy- bottomed pot over a medium heat. Add the celery, garlic, carrots, onion, rosemary and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not browned.
  2. Stir in the bay leaf, tinned tomatoes and chilli flakes. Add the Parmesan rind(s), then simmer for 10 minutes until the stew has thickened slightly.
  3. Stir in the kale, beans and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the kale is tender.
  4. Stir the bread into the soup. Simmer for 15 minutes longer until the bread breaks down and the soup thickens, stirring occasionally. Season to taste, then stir in the lemon zest.
  5. For best results, store the soup in the fridge after cooking and reheat the next day. Serve in wide bowls, topped with a generous drizzle of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of grated Parmesan and some cracked black pepper.

Per serving 338kcals, 9.3g fat (1.5g saturated), 48.8g carbs (9.6g sugars), 15.9g protein, 7.4g fibre, 0.643g sodium