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Tuscan reboiled bean soup recipe

Tuscan reboiled bean soup recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Bean and lentil soup
  • Bean soup

This classic soup is also known as ribollita (reboiled). It's then allowed to chill and re-boiled before serving.

49 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 375g dry cannellini beans
  • 1 litre water
  • 2.75 litres chicken stock
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 large sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 135g cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 12 (1.25cm thick) slices French stick/baguette, lightly toasted
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 120g grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • 125ml olive oil

MethodPrep:2hr15min ›Cook:3hr40min ›Extra time:8hr chilling › Ready in:13hr55min

  1. Sort and rinse the beans before placing them in a large pot with the water. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let stand 1 1/2 hours. Drain.
  2. Place the beans, chicken stock, garlic, sage leaves, bay leaves and salt in a large pot. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Cool. Remove 200g beans. Discard the bay leaves and sage leaves. Puree the remaining bean mixture in batches in a liquidiser/food processor or in the pot with a hand blender. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until transparent, about 10 minutes. Combine the carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage, Swiss chard and kale with the onions. Stir in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until greens have wilted, stirring at least once, about 20 minutes. Stir in the pureed bean mixture and cook 40 minute until the mixture thickens. Stir in the reserved beans. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add the toasted bread slices; cook until bread is soaked, about 10 minutes longer. Cool and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Reheat the soup over low heat until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve each serving garnished with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.


If Swiss chard is unavailable, substitute in spinach.

Cook's note

For a quicker version of the soup, use tinned cannellini beans.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(63)

Reviews in English (44)


Very filling soup! Similar to the one I had in Tuscany, minus the canned tomatoes which I left out as personal preference. Don't cook for too long or else the cabbage goes mushy and tasteless, and choose stale bread -soaked in cold water for a day or two- for the best results. A wonderful fall or winter soup that doesn't disappoint. Thanks for sharing Josie!-04 Aug 2007

by bubbling

Our family had picked lots of produce at a farm and this was an excellent way to use it up. I cannot think of a kale and chard soup that I have enjoyed as much!I bypassed the sauteing of veggies and just put them directly into the soup. We used Eden's canned cannellini beans instead of cooking from scratch and Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes. My french bread was a few days old. It was difficult to toast in my toaster, so I chose to fry it lightly with olive oil, and I would do that again, as it added lots of flavor! I also used a powdered vegetable broth from Frontier instead of chicken broth and a very small amount of diced jalapeno- not traditional but very tasty!-01 Nov 2008

by DAvila

This is a fantastic soup recipe. I did add extra chicken broth, 1 cup fresh parsley, extra potatoes, carrots, celery, and cabbage. Added thyme, savory, italian seasoning and cut down on the olive oil.-04 Dec 2010

Tuscan Bread Soup

1) Put the beans in a large bowl or stockpot. Cover them with water and let them soak overnight at room temperature.

2) Drain the beans and fill a large stockpot with water. Put the beans in the large stockpot and fill it with 2 quarts (2L) of water and 2 tablespoons (30g) of salt. Cook the beans for 1 hour.

3) When they are cooked, remove ¾ of the beans from the stockpot, without discarding the water, and set them aside. Blend the water and the remaining beans in the stockpot with an immersion blender. Then put the reserved beans back into the stockpot.

4) In a pan over medium to high heat, heat 5 tablespoons (75ml) of the olive oil and add the fresh thyme, carrots, onion, garlic, and celery and cook them for about 6-8 minutes, until they turn golden. Then add the potatoes and the tomato paste with 1 cup (240ml) of water to the pan and let the mixture simmer for a few more minutes. Add salt to taste, along with the kale, cabbage, and Swiss chard. Let them wilt in the pan. Add the beans and let them simmer for another hour on low heat, adding a little water, if the mixture becomes too thick.

5) Now add the sliced bread to the soup and give it a stir. Let it cook for a few minutes over medium to low heat. Take it off the heat and let the soup rest as long as possible, preferably overnight, for the best result. Ribollita means “reboiled,” so the day after you’ve made the soup, bring it to a boil for a few minutes and serve it with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and some freshly cracked pepper.


  • 1 pound/500 g dried white beans (​cannellini or Navy beans, washed and soaked for 3 hours)
  • 1 small onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 small carrot (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 6-inch stalk celery (chopped)
  • 1 small bunch parsley (flat-leaf, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound/500 g kale (lacinato/Tuscan, ribs removed and leaves chopped)
  • 1 pound/500 g beet greens (or Swiss chard, ribs removed and leaves chopped)
  • 1/2 pound/250 g potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 loaf white bread (thinly sliced, day-old crusty Italian)

Joey’s Ribollita: Tuscan Bean Soup

My brother Joe’s yummy Ribollita soup recipe is below. Perfect for the cold winter weather!

Ribollita is a famous Tuscan soup whose name literally means “reboiled”. Like most Tuscan cuisine, the soup has peasant origins. There are many variations but the main ingredients always include leftover bread, cannellini beans and inexpensive vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, spinach and onions. If you can’t find cannellini beans, use Great Northern beans.

Ribollita (Tuscan Bean Soup)

Recipe for 6: This soup gets better with age. Make extra.

Ingredients and equipment:

· 1 cup dried cannellini beans, covered with water and soaked overnight.

· 2 cans of cannellini beans

· 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

· 1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, rinsed and cleaned and thinly sliced (rinse well because leeks have a lot of sand and grit in them)

· 1 carrot, ¼-inch dice (trim at top and bottom but don’t peel, the skin is good for you)

· 1 celery stalk, ¼-inch dice (trim at top and bottom)

· Sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf wrapped with kitchen twine

· 2 bunches cavolo nero (black cabbage) or other kale or greens (swiss chard, escarole), roughly chopped. Chop off the thick stems and discard.

· Small can of tomato paste (6 ounces)

· 6 slices rustic bread (day-old is OK)

Note: This soup is all about what’s in your pantry and refrigerator. Use vegetables that are in your refrigerator or sitting on your counter top: ideas are potatoes, Brussels sprouts, spinach and chopped tomatoes. This is also a completely vegetarian dish except for the cheese.

Note: There is a BIG difference between Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and generic Parmesan cheese (i.e., the stuff in the green can). Choose what your wallet can afford. Parmigiano-Reggiano is an Italian government protected name that refers to cheese produced in a very certain and approved way in the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna.

If using dried beans, drain beans from the overnight soaking liquid and place the pre-soaked cannellini beans in a medium stockpot. Cover the beans with clear water twice the depth of the beans and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer until tender, about 1 hour, drain. If using canned beans, drain beans into a colander and rinse well.

In a large heavy-bottom pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, leeks, carrot, celery, sliced garlic, and herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the black cabbage (or Kale) and cook until the cabbage has softened and everything has blended, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Remove the sprigs of rosemary and thyme and the bay leaf. Add the tomato paste, and stir until the tomato paste is well distributed throughout the vegetable mixture and begins to take on a “rust” color.

Add the prepared beans to the vegetable mixture and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes.

Here’s where the “recooked” term comes in. Let the soup sit for several hours or overnight. Rewarm (or recook) to a gentle simmer.

When the soup is close to the temperature you like, toast or grill the bread until both sides are browned. Cut a garlic clove in half, and rub the toasted bread with the cut end of the garlic. Discard the garlic. This is called “bruschetta”.

Serve the soup hot with the garlic bruschetta on the side. Garnish with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste. Dip the bruschetta in the soup and enjoy.

Ribollita gets better for a week. Reheat the leftovers the next day and enjoy an even better soup. You can even continue to add more cooked vegetables every day and stretch the soup out for a week. Each day the soup will be something different as you “recook” it every day.

Hint: While simmering the soup, add a Parmesan cheese rind to the soup. Remove before serving. The cheese rind adds extra flavor to the soup and some saltiness.

Recipe Summary

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 4 (14 ounce) cans vegetable stock
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag fresh spinach

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir vegetable stock, cannellini beans, chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, and pesto into vegetable mixture bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat saute spinach until wilted, about 5 minutes. Spoon sauteed spinach into each serving bowl ladle soup over spinach.

Tuscan Bean Soup


  • ▢ 1 cup dried borlotti (cranberry) beans soaked and drained
  • ▢ 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • ▢ 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ▢ 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • ▢ 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
  • ▢ 1 stalk celery thinly sliced
  • ▢ 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ▢ One (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
  • ▢ 1 bay leaf
  • ▢ Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ▢ Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



*What can I substitute for borlotti beans?

Show Nutrition

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Elie Nassar

Delicious, simple, and nutritious. That's pretty much all I have to say about this soup. Cooking the kale for only 10 minutes with the beans and liquid was too short for my taste. The leaves were still very tough and "raw." I cooked them for an additional 20 minutes to get them perfectly wilted and softened. They never got mushy but were slightly firm and fully cooked.

I think if this is served as a main course, it makes close to 6 servings. It keeps very well. I enjoyed the last of it almost a full week after I first made it. It is great as is, but adding a drizzle of olive oil and long shavings of Parmesan took it to another level.

Jackie Gorman

Eating this soup took us back to Italy, where we first had—and fell in love with—Tuscan bean soup. We ended up ordering it every day, even though it was summertime. This recipe didn't disappoint and will be made and enjoyed often.

I cooked the beans in a pot with a couple of the Parmesan rinds that I keep in a bag in the freezer. The broth was very flavorful. I ended up with 6 cups bean broth, 4 cups of which were used for the soup and 2 extra cups that I froze. In the hour it took my cranberry beans to cook, I prepped the rest of the ingredients. I cut the stems out of the kale and sliced them into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. I added the sliced stems to the chopped onions, carrots, and celery, and sautéed them all together. I cooked everything in the pot the beans had cooked in. All times were accurate.

The soup is delicious as written. After eating some of this soup simply, I served the rest the way that we always enjoyed ribollita. I made crostini from a baguette, put it in the soup bowls, and added the soup. I drizzled a lovely, peppery Tuscan olive oil over the top and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Che buono. Delizioso!

Sandy Hill

This is the perfect soup for a snowy evening! This comforting soup was a hit with a big pan of cornbread. I used cranberry beans, and they were tender in 1 1/2 hours. They held their shape and were just tender to the bite. My bean cooking liquid was approximately 3 cups, so I added water to make 4 cups. The soup was really full of vegetables. I think next time I would add an additional 1 cup water or broth to the soup. The soup was full of flavor and deliciously healthy. I'll definitely make it again.

Natalie Reebel

This is a great soup. The ingredients are simple, fresh, and a great combination. The recipe works as written and produces a hearty soup that tastes like so much more than the sum of its parts. The beans can be soaked overnight and cooked in advance. This makes for a quick evening meal in about 30 minutes on a busy weeknight. The soup did need a significant amount of salt.

Gene C.

As the temperature drops, we all like to have something to warm our bellies, and there's nothing better than a hearty soup, right? Well, this Tuscan bean soup definitely fits the bill. It's very easy to prepare and is just like nonna made. It can be a warming appetizer or a meal by itself with some crusty Italian bread.

Borlotti, or cranberry, beans can be found in most supermarkets. I soaked them overnight. The pepper flakes can be to taste but are an important ingredient—I used 1/4 teaspoon, which didn't make it hot but imparted a subtle hint of spice. I de-stemmed the kale and gave it a rough chop and followed the recipe from there. I served this as a first course to guests, and they raved about it, so I have additional tasters that want the recipe.

The times in the recipe are accurate but your temps can vary. Just taste as you go and you can't go wrong with this one. It can be frozen for the future or kept in the fridge for leftovers—just add a bit of water or broth if it's too thick. This is for sure going on my winter soup lineup.

Linda McElroy

This hearty Tuscan bean soup will serve you impressively as a complete dinner with a crusty hunk of bread. If I don’t have a vat of soup stashed in my fridge at all times for a quick snack or a meal, then I simply must make one. And that’s exactly what my situation was when I put this one to the test. Everything about this recipe, including the amounts and timing, proved to be fairly accurate.

Although this vegetarian soup can definitely stand alone, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to add sausage to a bean soup. So after I dutifully performed the requisite testing and tasting, I tossed a couple sausage links into the pot and simmered for 10 more minutes. Then I removed the sausages, sliced them, and added them back to the pot. Other tweaks included dusting the top with a generous blanket of Parmesan cheese.

I enjoyed this soup with a crusty rosemary roll, and it made me think that this soup could benefit from a branch of fresh rosemary tossed into the mix. (Next time!) It makes quite a large pot, so you will likely have delicious leftovers for lunch the next day.

Joel Jenkins

This recipe is a keeper. After cooking the beans for 1 1/2 hours, they were tender and ready to eat. As the vegetables were cooking, I chiffonaded the kale, ending up with close to 6 cups, although of course once the kale cooked, it wilted down. The cooking liquid needed about 1 cup extra water, but I used chicken broth instead for additional flavor. I'm not sure that 10 minutes in the pot is enough time for the bay leave to extract any flavor. A pinch of basil, tarragon, thyme, or all of them would add more dimension to the flavor. As a meal, this will serve maybe 4 people.


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Your Tuscan bean soup is a classic. When I make it, I use an immersion blender to puree the solids before the kale, then afterwards I put in the kale. I am lucky here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in so far as we have a wonderful grocery store which sells baggies of Parmesan cheese rinds for soups. I boil the rinds with the broth before blending, then I remove the “spent” rinds. I had this soup in 1996 at Trattoria ZaZa at the Piazza Mercato Centrale, in Florence. I sat on a “seat” made of a tree stump at a communal table and had trie zuppa, three soups, served in a babies three segmented serving dish with hot water keeping each segment hot. One of the soups was Ribollita…and I fell in love with all things Italian at that instant. I have 2 single-quart containers of the soup in my freezer as I “speak” to you now. Love this blog.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

At least 8 hours or the night before you make the soup, place the beans in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain the beans, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Set aside.

In a large (10-inch) pot or Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, heat ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat, add the pancetta, and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until browned. Add the leeks, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary and cook over medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add the beans, 8 cups of the chicken stock, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot. Discard the bay leaves, cover the pot, and allow the soup to sit off the heat for 15 minutes. Add up to 2 more cups of chicken stock if the soup is too thick.

Reheat slowly, ladle into large shallow soup bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.


First, use 2 (14-ounce) cans of white cannellini beans. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Place 1 cup of the beans and ½ cup of the liquid into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree. When ready to add the beans in the recipe, stir in the puree and add the remaining drained beans (discard the remaining liquid).

Second, use only 6 cups of chicken stock.

Third, simmer the soup for 45 minutes, rather than 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Notes: To reheat a second day, you’ll need to add some water, salt, and pepper.

Use bacon if you don't have pancetta.

Copyright 2020, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

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1 stalk of celery
1 carrot
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 head of cabbage
1 bundle of black cabbage (also known as Tuscan kale)
1 zucchini
1 bunch of chard
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
100 g of cooked Cannellini beans
2 slices of stale Tuscan bread

1. Wash and dice the carrot, celery and onion. Peel the garlic and combine with the cut vegetables. Cook in a saucepan with olive oil for about 15-20 minutes on a moderate flame.

2. Meanwhile wash and julienne the cabbage, black cabbage, chard and zucchini. Add the vegetables to the saucepan. Stir to combine then add salt and pepper, followed by the finely chopped sage and rosemary. Cook for an hour on medium heat.

3. Add the cooked cannellini beans and the diced Tuscan bread to the saucepan. Bring to a boil everything then turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the flavor with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve hot and top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Tuscan Recipes That Will Transport You to Chianti

If your dream of Tuscany is anything like ours, it probably features long lunches under leafy trees in a vineyard. We nibble on olives, crostini, and slices of pecorino as the sun glints, and then slowly, slowly dips behind castle-topped hills, beaming its golden light upon us. We drink Chianti and share platters of grilled meats and seasonal salads with plenty of fresh Tuscan bread. All of that delicious food and drink comes with a side of laughter and lively conversation.

But this central Italian region is not just a summertime fantasyland in the fall chestnuts are roasting, and we sample artisanal salami. We sip local wines and dine on ragu spooned over polenta or served with hand-rolled pappardelle. Frugality rules in Tuscan food, so when chickens are being spit roasted, the chicken livers are cooked into a savory topping for crostini. In winter we appreciate more rugged local treats: whole grains like farro, dark leafy greens robust soups and stews. All peasant cooking, created from necessity: turning what was left in the larder into mainstays like the soup called ribollita, which might be Tuscany's crowning achievement.

Within the dishes of Tuscany is the key to a lifestyle to which we aspire: We should take what it can teach us&mdashusing excellent ingredients in simple preparations slowing down and enjoying our surroundings&mdashand bring it on home in our suitcase.

Here are the dishes that embody that lovely Tuscan way. Pick a few to create a feast or choose just one to call your own.

  1. Soak – Prep and soak the beans.
  2. Saute – Saute the aromatics: onion (or leek), celery, and carrot until soft. Add the garlic.
  3. Simmer – Add the beans, water, and herbs. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Season – Add the salt and nutritional yeast. Enjoy!

As with any soup, especially a hearty Italian soup like this one, you can never go wrong with a nice hunk of crusty bread. Using day-old bread is the traditional way to go. This is because it’s had time to firm up a bit and really soak up the juices of the soup. It’s ok if you melt into your soup using the side suggestions below.