Ribollita soup

Ribollita soup is a dish of the Tuscan peasant tradition, as it is made of simple ingredients, like vegetables and stale bread.

Its name, “Ribollita”, means “boiled again”, because its preparation requires it to be boiled several times. The taste its better the day after the preparation, when it is boiled for the second time.

There are many family and seasonal variations of ribollita. In all cases, the main ingredient is black cabbage, which is difficult to find outside of Italy.

Here is France, we opted for a cabbage and Swiss chard version. Cannellini beans are not always easy to find either, so we used red beans.

Tradition wants that the best ribollita is the one prepared with black cabbage after the frosts, becoming softer.


  • Black cabbage
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Vegetal stock
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Scallot
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Stale bread – tipically Tuscan saltless bread

Depending on the season you can add:

  • Celery
  • Swiss chard
  • Carrot
  • Potato

How to make it

  • Soak the beans overnight. Then rinse, drain and boil them for an hour
  • Prepare the vegetables: wash the cabbage and cut it into strips.  Cut the other vegetables into cubes
  • Cook the beans and save the cooking water for later to gradually add a few ladles to the vegetables
  • Put some olive oil, a chopped onion, and a clove of garlic in a pan. The garlic should not brown. Remove it before it browns. Add the vegetables
  • Add the canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, black cabbage, Savoy cabbage, celery, and chard stalk. Add the cooked beans. You can use borlotti or cannellini. Cook for 15-20 minutes
  • Season with salt and cook for another 40 minutes
  • Serve on slices of stale bread, adding a drizzle of raw extra virgin olive oil

Buon appetito!*

*Enjoy your meal!

About Valentina

Ciao, sono Valentina, consulente di strategia di comunicazione e ponte culturale. In questo blog, vi racconto la cultura cinese nella mia vita quotidiana, la "mia" Umbria, e come accogliere i vostri ospiti cinesi nel Cuore Verde d'Italia.