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La Ribollita: Tuscan Soup with Beans and Greens

This hearty Tuscan soup is one of our favourite winter comfort soups: hearty, healthy and warming and even better the next day. Loaded with cavolo nero and cannellini beans, it's immensely nutritious. Serve with sourdough bread and, if you'd like, a sprinkle of vegetarian Parmesan (we love Old Winchester). Fore more vegetarian Italian cooking inspiration, check out our upcoming  Italian cookery classes, or better still, join us on our Italian Cookery Holiday!

La Ribollita

Vegan | Serves 4-6


  • 85g dried cannellini beans soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced large
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 150g cavolo nero, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin Italian tomatoes, strained
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • lots fresh ground black pepper

To serve

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a large heavy based saucepan heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and cook gently until softening. Then add the leeks, celery and carrots and sweat gently in the oil for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the cavolo nero and tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the beans, bay and thyme, stir and cover with water. Simmer, covered, for 1½ -2 hours until beans are cooked.
  4. Remove bay leaves and thyme stalks. Ladle a third of the soup into a blender or separate pan to liquidise or mash. Return the liquidised soup to the saucepan, add salt and pepper and stir well. 
  5. In a small frying pan heat the remaining oil and gently fry the garlic until just browning, add parsley, stir for 1 minute then add to the soup. Check seasoning.
  6. To serve, drizzle liberally with extra virgin olive oil and extra parsley.


  • Traditionally the soup is reheated and served the next day as the flavour improves, hence the name ‘reboiled’. It is served over a thick slice of country style bread. 
  • Cavolo nero can be substituted with the outer leaves of a savoy cabbage. Other vegetables that work well are potatoes, courgettes & celeriac. 
  • Fresh tomatoes are used when available, peeled cored and deseeded. 

Ribollita WebRes-8278

Food photography by superstar Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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