This cozy Tuscan ribollita is bursting with savory herbs, juicy tomatoes, hearty white beans and tender kale, then layered in bowls with crusty bread chunks. 100% vegan, totally meal-worthy, and easy enough for a weeknight!
If you spend a lot of time on this site you probably know that I LOVE bread. I always have a loaf of good bread around, which means I’ve usually got some stale bread around. So I look for creative ways to use leftover bread, like French toast. Ribollita is my latest solution!
Ribollita is a Tuscan white bean soup that actually has bread in it. It’s sometimes even called bread soup. And since the bread is immersed in broth, there’s no need to worry about it being perfectly crisp or crusty. In fact, bread that’s a bit stale stands up to the broth quite nicely.
And bread in your soup is so delicious and comforting.
What You’ll Need
- Olive oil. You could technically substitute another high-heat oil, but I highly recommend using olive oil for the flavor.
- White wine. This can be omitted for an alcohol-free version. If you do use it, keep your dish vegan by running your brand of wine through Barnivore.
- Herbs. We’re using rosemary and thyme. I recommend using fresh if possible, but dried will work in a pinch.
- Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon in roasted vegetable flavor.
- Cannellini beans. Make sure to use canned or precooked.
- Diced tomatoes. Use the canned kind, packed in juice.
- Tomato paste.
- Red pepper flakes. Leave these out for a heat-free version.
- Lacinato kale. Look for kale with long, dark leaves (see the picture above).. Some stores label it as “Italian Kale,” “Tuscan Kale,” or “Dinosaur Kale.” Feel free to substitute curly kale if you can’t find it.
- Black olives. Use good quality, brine cured olives. Definitely don’t use olives from a can.
- Salt & pepper.
- Bread. I like crusty Italian or sourdough for this recipe. Your bread should ideally be a day or two old and a bit stale. If you forgot to plan ahead and only have have fresh bread, just dry it out a bit in a warm oven.
How to Make Ribollita
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this soup. Scroll down if you’d rather skip right to the recipe!
- Heat up some olive oil in a large pot and add diced onion, carrots and celery. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes until they begin to soften up.
- Push the veggies to the side and add minced garlic. Cook it for just about a minute, until it becomes very fragrant, stirring often to prevent burning.
- Stir in your herbs and white wine.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer and let it cook until the liquid reduces by about half.
- Stir in the broth, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes.
- Bring everything to a simmer and let it cook until the veggies begin to soften up.
- After about 20 minutes, stir in your kale. You might need to add a bit at a time, stirring in between batches until it wilts.
- Let the soup simmer a while longer, until the kale is tender.
- Take the soup off of the burner, season it with salt and pepper, and stir in some olives.
- To serve, place some bread chunks into bowls and ladle your soup over them.
FAQ & Tips for Making Awesome Ribollita
- Leftovers & storage: Leftover soup will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Store your bread separately in a sealed bag.
- Crusty bread that’s at least a day old works best in this recipe. If your bread is fresh, try popping in in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes to dry it out.
- What kind of bread should I use? That’s totally up to you! I used sourdough, and it worked perfectly, but French or Italian bread would also be great choices.
- Is there a substitute for the wine? It adds a lot of flavor, but you can leave it out if you prefer.
- If you do use the wine, make sure it’s vegan. Check with Barnivore.
- Can this soup be made gluten-free? Yes! Just use your favorite gluten-free bread.
More Vegan Italian Soups
- Escarole Soup
- Vegan Minestrone Soup
- Vegan Italian Wedding Soup
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Vegan Pasta e Fagioli
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 small (10 ounce or 280 grams) bunch lacinato kale (can sub curly kale), stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- ⅓ cup brine cured black olives, halved
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups (1-inch) bread cubes (preferably day old bread)
- Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and set it over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the veggies begin to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
- Stir in the wine, thyme and rosemary. Bring the wine to a simmer. Allow it to cook until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in 3 cups of broth broth, as well as beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes. You can add up to an additional cup of broth at any point if the soup reduces too much.
- Stir in the kale. You may need to do this in batches, adding a handful at a time and letting the kale wilt to make room for the next addition.
- Bring the soup back to a simmer and allow it to cook until the veggies are soft and the kale is very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat, stir in the olives, and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, place a few bread cubes in a bowl, ladle a bit of soup overtop, then repeat in a layering arrangement until the bowl is full.