It is incredible how a simple soup can be so good! Have you ever heard of Ribollita? It is a white bean soup with garden vegetables. Recipe differs a lot from one family to another as it can be adapted to what you have at hand. My family used to serve it for lunch as a primi piatti, or first entrée. It is always better of course if you can use vegetables from your garden, or at least the freshest ones.
What is Ribollita?
Ribollita literally means boiled again. This soup originates from Tuscany, during Middle Ages. It is traditionally a big pot of white bean soup made with the vegetables available in the garden and thicken with bread. We do not add bread to it in my family, we break it into pieces and add it on top of the soup when eating. The more you reheat it, the better it becomes! So, you can literally make a big pot of it and eat it thorough the week. Flavors will develop with time and make the soup different each day.
Make it vegetarian!
The Pancetta is completely optional. For a vegetarian option, just remove the pancetta from the dish and rectify seasoning to your taste.
You can also add potatoes to it, but I wanted a lighter version as I was serving it before a dish of meat and potatoes.
I used a big bunch of kale and spinach from my garden. I don’t have any tomatoes growing yet, so I used peeled and canned tomatoes from past season. You can use fresh tomatoes or whole canned tomatoes for the recipe.
As you will see below, the Ribollita or White Bean Soup is pretty easy to make. It just takes some time to dice all the ingredients and cook them. But once you have everything in the pot, you can just let it simmer while you do your own things.
I love eating it steaming hot, but it can also be a great summer dish and eaten cold. You can also add a spoon of pesto in summer on top of it before enjoying it.
Please let me know if you try it!
Ribollita, White Bean Soup
- 250 g white beans dried
- ½ onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 garlic bulb
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 3 to 4 to tomatoes peeled
- 1 cup pancetta
- Olive oil
- The day before, place your bean in water and let soak overnight.
- The next day, rinse the beans, bring water to boil and cook the beans in the water for about 50 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel and chop your veggies (onion, carrots, garlic and tomatoes). Remove the stem of the kale (the hard part of it) and chop both kale and spinach.
- Once the beans are cooked, reserve about 2 cups of them and blend the rest with their water.
- In a large, heavy bottom pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions. Sautee for about 8 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add carrots, spinach, and kale. Cook for 2 minutes, time for the green leaf to reduce in size. Add chopped tomatoes, blended beans and water as needed (I added about 2 cups, but it depends on how liquid your preparation is already). Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes. Add the beans and pancetta and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Rectify seasoning to your taste and cook a little longer if needed.
- Enjoy hot with a piece of bread on the side in winter, or even cold in summer!