Tuscan style ribollita

Don’t throw away stale bread – transform it into this thick, delicious tuscan style ribollita. It is low in calories, and full of tomatoes and cavolo nero.

This vegan soup is very easy to make, filling and perfect for a cold fall and winter’s nights. Ribollita is a traditional centuries-old Tuscan soup that is made with vegetables, beans [ this recipe doesn’t include beans ] and thickened with stale bread.
The word “ribollita” actually means “reboiled,” as the soup was cooked and reheated several times because it had to last for several days.

What will you need to prepare ribollita?

Aside from traditional soffritto, made from sauteed onion, carrot and celery all you will need are tomatoes, cavolo nero or kale, stale bread, good extra virgin olive oil and some herbs.


TOMATOES : canned, passata or fresh when in season
VEGETABLES : carrots, onions, garlic, celery and kale – I used cavolo nero. Savoy cabbage will also work great
BROTH : homemade or store bought vegetable broth
HERBS AND SPICES : a sprig of rosemary and thyme, freshly ground pepper and some basil for serving. Personally, I also like to add a pinch of peperoncino or chili flakes, it depends on what I have at hand
STALE BREAD : It’s important to use stale crusty bread. The bread absorbs the soup’s liquid and transforms into pillowy, dumpling-like chunks. If it’s too fresh, it will turn into soggy paste.
OLIVE OIL : good quality extra virgin
BEANS : Traditionally ribollita is prepared with beans, so feel free to add white beans too

ribollita soup

Tuscan style ribollita

Servings 4 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins


  • Cooking pot
  • oven, optional


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery   finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 dried porcini mushroom optional
  • 3 cups canned tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • pinch of  chili flakes optional
  • 1 sprig rosemary or tsp dried
  • 1 sprig thyme or tsp dried
  • 2 cups cavolo nero or kale chopped
  • 2 cups stale bread in chunks
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • basil for serving
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in a large cooking pot or dutch oven over a medium heat and fry the onion, celery and carrot with a pinch of salt for 5 mins.
    Add the garlic and chili flakes, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Stir in the rosemary and thyme sprigs, tomatoes, stock, beans if using, and bring to a simmer.
    Add the cavolo nero, dried porcini and cook, covered for 20 mins.
  • In the meantime, drizzle your bread chunks with olive oil and throw in the pan or hot oven to make croutons. Set aside
  • Season cooked ribollita with red wine vinegar and stir in the bread then ladle into bowls, drizzle with a little more oil and sprinkle with the basil, if using.
    You can also divide the bread into the bowls and ladle the soup over.


Nutritional value - portion
265 kcal | Carbohydrates 35 g | Protein 9 g | Fat 10 g | Fiber 5 g
Course: Main Course
Keyword: easy, gluten free option, healthy, tomatoes

Leftover storage

Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days. If you plan to make more soup, it is best to keep bread croutons separate and add them to the reheated soup just before serving.
You can also freeze the soup itself, also without croutons, for up to 3 months.

ribollita vegan

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @vitobites on Instagram and hashtag it #vitobites.
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Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
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