My favourite ribollita (La mia ribollita preferita)

Italian Soup

Serves 4-6

  • 310 g zolfini or cannellini beans, fresh, or dried and soaked overnight

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tomato, squashed

  • 1 small potato, peeled

  • 2 small red onions, peeled

  • 2 carrots, peeled

  • 3 sticks celery, trimmed

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • olive oil

  • 1 pinch ground fennel seeds

  • 1 pinch dried red chilli

  • 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes

  • 310 g cavolo nero, leaves and stalks finely sliced

  • 2 large handfuls good-quality stale bread, torn into chunks

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • extra virgin olive oil

Add your fresh or dried and soaked beans to a pan of water with the bay leaf, tomato and potato – this will help to flavour the beans and soften their skins. Cook until tender – taste one to check they're nice and soft. Dried beans can take up to an hour, but check fresh ones after 25 minutes. Drain (reserving about half a glass of the cooking water), and discard the bay leaf, tomato and potato.



Finely chop your onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Heat a saucepan with a splash of olive oil and add the vegetables to the pan with the ground fennel seeds and chilli. Sweat very slowly on a low heat with the lid just ajar for around 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes.



Add the cooked and drained beans with a little of the water they were cooked in, and bring back to the boil. Stir in the sliced cavolo (it will look like loads, but don't worry as it will cook down), then moisten the bread with a little of the cooking water and stir it in too. The soup should be thick but not dry, so add a little more cooking water if you need to loosen it. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes – you want to achieve a silky, thick soup.



Season the ribollita with salt and pepper and stir in 4 good lugs of good-quality Tuscan extra virgin olive oil before serving to give it a glossy velvety texture. Serve on a cold winter's day with lots and lots of Chianti!







Nutritional Information

My favourite ribollita (La mia ribollita preferita)

Proper rustic Italian soup with beans, cabbage, veg and bread

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0 foodies cooked this
Hearty, filling, tasty and cheap to knock together, no wonder ribollita was a peasant food staple
Serves 4-6
1h 35m
Super easy
Method

There's often confusion as to what ribollita should actually be like. It's not like minestrone, as it isn't brothy and it has no pasta in it. It's actually more like pappa al pomodoro, as it's thick and based on bread. It's very much Italian 'peasant food' and would have been eaten a lot in the days of no central heating and lots of hard manual labour. I think this recipe embraces the heart and soul of what peasant cooking is all about – cheap, tasty power food. Please do make it and reheat it the next day – you'll find the flavours intensify.

Add your fresh or dried and soaked beans to a pan of water with the bay leaf, tomato and potato – this will help to flavour the beans and soften their skins. Cook until tender – taste one to check they're nice and soft. Dried beans can take up to an hour, but check fresh ones after 25 minutes. Drain (reserving about half a glass of the cooking water), and discard the bay leaf, tomato and potato.

Finely chop your onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Heat a saucepan with a splash of olive oil and add the vegetables to the pan with the ground fennel seeds and chilli. Sweat very slowly on a low heat with the lid just ajar for around 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes.

Add the cooked and drained beans with a little of the water they were cooked in, and bring back to the boil. Stir in the sliced cavolo (it will look like loads, but don't worry as it will cook down), then moisten the bread with a little of the cooking water and stir it in too. The soup should be thick but not dry, so add a little more cooking water if you need to loosen it. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes – you want to achieve a silky, thick soup.

Season the ribollita with salt and pepper and stir in 4 good lugs of good-quality Tuscan extra virgin olive oil before serving to give it a glossy velvety texture. Serve on a cold winter's day with lots and lots of Chianti!



Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 339 17%
  • Carbs 40.1g 15%
  • Sugar 8.6g 10%
  • Fat 9.8g 14%
  • Saturates 1.2g 6%
  • Protein 15.8g 35%
Of an adult's reference intake

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When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
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