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Overhead view of two bowls of Tuscan bread soup on a rustic wood surface next to a bowl of parmesan and small pitcher of oil.

La Ribollita (Vegetarian Tuscan Bread Soup)

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


La Ribollita is a traditional Tuscan soup, which is thickened with stale bread. My version is vegetarian and includes kale and white beans.


  • 10oz bread (such as an Italian loaf, country bread or boule), sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1, 15oz can cannellini or other white beans
  • 68 cups vegetable broth, as needed
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup canned, whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 bunch (~8oz) kale, preferably lacinato, trimmed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ small (~12oz) napa or savoy cabbage, cored and sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Grated parmesan (parmigiano reggiano) cheese, for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Dry out bread: Preheat oven to 300F. Place slices of bread on a sheet tray. Place on center rack of oven. Cook 20-30 minutes, until dried out but not browned, flipping halfway through. Set aside until ready to use. Skip this step if your bread is already dry and stale.
  2. Make bean broth: Place ½ cup of beans and ½ cup of broth into a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Cook soffritto: Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add in onion, carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook 7-10 minutes until softened.
  4. Add other vegetables: Stir in potatoes and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add greens and beans and season lightly with additional salt and pepper. Add bean broth and another 5 ½ cups or so of vegetable broth. Add herbs.
  5. Cook soup: Partially cover pot. Bring to a simmer and cook about 45-60 minutes, until vegetables are all very tender. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Discard rosemary and thyme stems.
  6. Layer Ribollita: Traditionally, Ribollita is layered in a clay or terra cotta pot that it can be reheated in later. I usually just use a large bowl or pot. Spoon in 2-3 ladles of soup into the vessel. Top with a layer of dried bread. Continue to alternate layering soup and bread until you use all of the ingredients. Cover. Sit out at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours in the fridge. The bread should be soft and soak up the broth. The mixture will be quite thick.
  7. “Reboil” Ribollita: Transfer the amount of Ribollita you plan to eat into a pot. Add broth to the pot to create desired consistency. Some people prefer it thick, while others prefer it soupier. Partially cover and reheat until warmed through.
  8. Serve: Scoop into bowls. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Enjoy.


You can substitute 2 cups of cooked beans made from dried beans in place of canned beans.

You can omit the potatoes and add more beans, if desired.

I usually don’t remove the ribs of more tender kale, but do if I use curly kale which has tougher stems.

You can substitute cabbage with more kale, or Swiss chard.

You can use any type of canned tomatoes you prefer, or even substitute fresh, chopped tomatoes.

You can use dried herbs instead of fresh (about ½ to 1 tsp each) or omit all together.

You can freeze leftover Ribollita in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can freeze it before or after adding the bread.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of ribollita
  • Calories: 370
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Sodium: 956mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 57g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: ribollita, la ribollita, vegetarian Tuscan soup, Tuscan white bean and kale soup, bread soup