This rich and hearty traditional Tuscan soup with bread, vegetables and beans is simply perfect for cold winter months. Ribollita, literally translates as ‘reboiled’, was originally made by reheating soup that was cooked the day before. The recipe was created as a way to use stale Tuscan bread. If the soup is served immediately it’s called minestra di pane, or bread soup. Though don’t be in a rush to indulge – the soup gets even tastier a couple days later! Once reheated, the soup has earned its right to be called ribollita.
The history of this classic Italian winter dish dates back to the Middle Ages, when peasants used to collect leftover bread to make the most with what they had. Today, ribollita proves how simple ingredients and, in this case, stale bread can be used to create something absolutely delicious. For an even better gastronomic experience, pair the soup with a bottle of Chianti Classico.
Scroll down for the recipe by celebrity chef, Giada de Laurentiis.
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling on bread
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 garlic cloves, 1 minced and 1 whole
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 lb frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable bouillon)
1 bay leaf
1 piece parmesan cheese, rind 3 inches
4-6 ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise (or any old bread)
grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, pancetta, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
Cook until the onion is golden brown and the pancetta is crisp, about 7 minutes.
Add tomato paste and stir until dissolved.
Add tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits.
Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind.
Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Drizzle the ciabatta halves with olive oil. Toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and rub the top of the toasts with the whole garlic clove.
Place the toasts in the serving bowls and ladle the soup over the toasts.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.