Classic Soup

Ribollita is a delicious rustic Tuscan soup made with pieces of crusty left over bread, beans and fresh vegetables. It is a hearty soup that should be made a day before serving in order to give the flavors time to blend together.

Traditionally this soup is made with cavalo nero which is a black kale. It is a strong flavored vegetable that holds up well during the cooking process. Besides it enhancing the flavor of soups, cavalo nero is also excellent in pasta and risotto dishes. Spinach can be used in this soup but expect a stronger flavor than using the kale.

Lighter broth soups pair well with white wines but this hearty full bodied soup is great with a nice Chianti such as a Ruffino Chianti Classico or a Frescobaldi, Chianti Rufina Nipozzano Reserva, which has a great fruity flavor with hints of blackberry, plum and sweet spice.


  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 2 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup of dry red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 can of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • 6 cups beef broth or homemade stock
  • 8 slices of stale crusty bread, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup of fresh Italian flat leaf parsley.
  • 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a large pot, saute the pancetta for 2 to 3 minutes until browned.
  • Add the olive oil. Onions, carrots, celery and garlic and saute for about 5 minute until onions are translucent and vegetables a slightly tender.
  • Add the potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Add the tomatoes and season with the oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the beans and add the chopped kale.
  • Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Soup can now be cooled and re-heated the next day.
  • Place pieces of the stale bread in a bowl and ladle the soup over the top.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6 to 8 people

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