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Ribollita Tuscan soup



Ribollita Tuscan soup

Ribollita is a traditional Italian soup made with bread, beans and vegetables. It’s filling, comforting and the perfect way to warm up on a cold day.



For the beans

  • 200g/7oz dried broad beans, soaked overnight
  • 200g/7oz dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 300g/10½oz unsmoked pancetta with rind
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 garlic cloves, left whole

For the sofrito

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ turnip, peeled and diced
  • 500ml/18fl oz vegetable stock

For the ribollita

  • 1 head cavolo nero, roughly chopped and blanched
  • 4 slices day-old sourdough bread
  • 50g/1¾oz Parmesan, grated



  1. To make the beans, place the beans in a large casserole or saucepan with the onion, carrot, celery, pancetta, rosemary and garlic and cover with water. Cook for around 1½–2 hours or until the beans are soft. Leave to cool in the cooking liquid.

  2. Sieve the beans into a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid and pick out the pancetta to shred. Discard the cooked veg and herbs.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

  4. To make the sofrito, heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole and sweat the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, bay leaves, potato and turnip to the casserole and fry for a couple of minutes.

  5. Tip the beans, pancetta and their cooking liquid into the casserole. Add enough of the vegetable stock to just cover the soup. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Top up with more stock if needed during cooking. Remove the casserole from the oven but leave the oven on.

  6. To make the ribollita, pick out the herbs from the soup and purée half of it in a blender or food processor, then mix with the unblended half. Stir in the cavolo nero.

  7. Ladle a third of the soup into a large, ovenproof dish and top with half of the bread. Ladle over more soup, then the remaining bread. Ladle over the rest of the soup, grate over the Parmesan and drizzle over a generous glug of olive oil. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until it forms a crust. Serve in warm soup bowls.



Ribollita Tuscan soup

Ribollita Tuscan soup

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