This ribollita recipe is a hearty Tuscan vegetable stew, loaded with veggies and thickened with bread. A flavor-packed vegetarian dinner idea!
My first trip outside the country to Austria and Italy at age 17 left me changed. Committed to exploring the world, in college I studied abroad in Spain and traveled across Europe with my best friend. Alex and I honeymooned in Italy, vacationed in Paris and Greece, and volunteered in Cambodia. Travelling exposes you to so many perspectives and sights…but the ultimate for us has always been the food! Here’s a delicious Italian soup from a cookbook all about food inspired by travel: Green Kitchen Travels. This traditional Tuscan ribollita will have you wow’d from the first bite! Here’s how to make it.
Ribollita is an Italian vegetable stew traditionally thickened by bread as a way to use up old crusts going stale. The word means “reboiled” in Italian, referring to how it was originally made: reheating leftover minestrone or vegetable soup with old bread. It can have lots of different vegetables in it, but usually white beans and Tuscan kale. And always, always: bread!
It might look like just a humble stew, but honestly, the flavors in this ribollita blew us away. It’s gently simmered so that the flavors meld together beautifully. The crusty bread cubes are almost like dumplings when soaked in the savory broth. I had to stop between spoonfuls to proclaim to Alex how much I loved it.
What type of bread to use
The most important part about making ribollita: the bread! Traditionally it was made with stale leftover bread from a few days before. Since Alex and I bake bread on the regular, we always have random rock-hard ends of bread around. But you don’t need that for this recipe! Just use high quality artisan bread from the store. If you are into making your own bread, here are a few bread recipes we’d recommend:
- Easy No Knead Bread Our easiest artisan bread! It’s simple to make and has a crusty exterior and soft interior.
- Artisan Bread This bread has incredible robust flavor! It’s beautiful and like an easy version of sourdough.
- Best Sourdough Bread It’s a definite project, but the flavor of this bread is incredible. We’ve got a video tutorial and downloadable checklist!
What to serve with ribollita
This ribollita makes a delicious plant based dinner recipe that’s perfect for company or a night in! What to serve alongside it? Here are a few ideas:
- Green salad. A green salad is the easiest choice. Try our favorite chopped salad or easy arugula salad.
- Citrus salad. A citrus-based salad brings a delightful tangy note! Try our Italian-style Fennel Orange Salad or Simple Citrus Salad.
- Garlic toast. These garlic toasts have big garlic flavor and are so easy to make!
About the book: Green Kitchen Travels
There’s something about travel that’s addicting: meeting new people, learning new things, tasting exotic flavors, the thrill of adventure. If you’re a fellow travel lover, the new cookbook Green Kitchen Travels might be up your alley.
Vegetarian food bloggers David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl from Green Kitchen Stories took a year out of their life to travel around the globe with their 7-month old. The photographs and recipes are out of this world! If you read cookbooks like picture books like we do, you’ll love paging through the gorgeous snapshots and flavor ideas (like this ribollita!).
Get the book! Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
This ribollita recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and dairy free (without the Parmesan cheese garnish).Print
This ribollita recipe is a hearty Tuscan vegetable stew, loaded with veggies and thickened with bread. A flavor-packed vegan and vegetarian dinner idea!
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 zucchini
- 1 tomato
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale
- 1 handful parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 10 sage leaves
- 15-ounce can cannellini beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Multigrain or wholegrain sourdough bread
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Dice the onion. Peel and dice the carrot and zucchini. Dice the tomato. Mince the garlic. Roughly chop the kale. Remove the leaves from the parsley.
- In a large saucepan or pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion garlic, carrots, red pepper flakes, and sage and cook over low heat for 20 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the parsley, tomato, and zucchini and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the kale and beans (drained if canned), and cover with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Chop the bread into cubes. To serve, arrange the bread cubes in the soup and add Parmesan cheese shavings and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Ribollita, Italian Soup, Tuscan Vegetable Stew, Vegetable Soup, Ribollita Recipe, Vegetarian Soup, Vegan Soup, Italian Soup
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Last updated: April 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.