Ribollita – A Tuscan Minestrone
Servings: 6 Prep Time: 1 hour Start to Finish: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
Make Ahead: Yes

What You Need:

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) dried Great Northern or cannelloni beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped leek, white and light green parts only (about 1 medium leek)
  • ½ carrot (1/2-inch diced)
  • ½ cup diced celery (1/2-inch diced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • One 14-1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 8 to 10 ounces cabbage, halved, cored, and cut into ¼ -inch-wide strips to make 2-½ cup diced to 3 cups of cabbage
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more if needed
  • 8 ounces russet or Yukon gold potato (1 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch diced
  • 8 ounces zucchini (1 medium), halved length-wise and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 6 ounces Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2-inch thick strips to make 2 cups
  • 8 1/2-inch-thick slides day-old Italian bread, such as ciabatta
  • 1 to 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish


  1. Rinse and sort through the beans to remove any pebbles. Put beans in a large bowl; cover with 3 cups of boiling water. Soak beans for 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and reserve.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, leek, carrot, and celery and saute until just softened, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and rosemary and saute 1 minute more.
  3. Add 8 cups water, the reserved beans, tomatoes, cabbage, and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  4. Add potatoes, zucchini, and chard; simmer, covered, until the potatoes and zucchini are tender and the chard has wilted, for 20 to 25 minutes. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. (Soup can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)
  5. When ready to serve, lightly toast the bread slices, then rub each piece on both sides with a cut garlic clove. Either place 1 bread slice in the bottom of 6 soup bowls and ladle soup over or ladle soup into 6 bowls and top each with a bread slice. Garnish each serving with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cooking Tip: This soup can be served as soon as it is made, but it improves in flavor when prepared 2 days ahead and “cooked again” or reheated.

2 thoughts on “Ribollita – A Tuscan Minestrone

  1. Glad you like it! I make this frequently – living in Minnesota lends to hearty soups in the winter! For example, the low temperature here will be 19 degrees on Thursday. It was 62 yesterday. Yikes!!! Am following you by the way, very nice. Debbie


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