This cozy Tuscan-inspired soup is the cure to your winter blues! It’s 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!
The downside to publishing recipes on the internet for a living is this: there’s always way too much food in the house. And that’s really not much of a downside. It’s kind of a good problem to have. I remind myself of that every time I have to do some hardcore rummaging for long-lost ingredients in the fridge. And I remind my husband of that every time he gets knocked in the head with multiple bags of lentils falling out of the pantry.
Cooking and playing with food is also one of my hobbies. I do a lot of kitchen experimentation that doesn’t even make it to this blog, all in the name of fun. And that results in me acquiring even more food.
Sometimes I need to get creative with ways to put my surplus of food to good use.
Lately the issue is bread. I’ve been making lot of bread, and since I live a two person household, it can be tough to use up a whole loaf of bread before it goes stale. My latest solution: don’t worry about it so much, freeze the old bread, and then figure out ways to use it.
So I’ve been cooking up lots of French toast, as well as some other recipes involving bread that’s past its prime. Ribollita is my latest solution!
Ribollita is a soup that actually has bread in it. 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.
The soup itself comes together pretty simply.
Start by sautéing some onions, carrots and celery in olive oil. Once the veggies soften up, add some garlic, and then white wine.
Let the wine simmer for a few minutes to reduce, then add your broth, tomatoes, white beans and herbs. Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes, and finally add some kale. Within another 15 minutes or so your kale should be tender. Take the soup off of the burner.
The last thing you’ll add to the soup is the bread. Ribollita recipes differ in when and how the bread gets added to the soup. Some call for toasting the bread to make croutons for topping the soup. Some simmer the soup with bread in it, so the bread essentially falls apart and thickens the soup.
I went for the in-between route added the bread to my bowl in alternating layers with the soup. This way the bread retains its structure, but also soaks up lots of soup.
Feel free to try one of the other methods if you like though!
FAQ & Tips for Making Awesome Ribollita
- 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.
This cozy Tuscan-inspired soup is the cure to your winter blues! It's 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!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 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
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 small bunch lacinato kale (can sub curly kale), stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/3 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.