Recipes from the Grapevine Cottage

Recipes --> Soups --> Ribollita alla Toscana (Traditional)

Ribollita alla Toscana (The Traditional Way)

Tuscan-Style Vegetable Soup

Linda gave me a fun, trip-inspired, "Italian Christmas" with all the gifts having an Italian theme...including a cookbook featuring dishes from Tuscany. We made this over the holidays and enjoyed it. Nice and hearty, it is a good winter dish. But we have to be honest...this was pretty similar to our tried and true pasta fagioli without the pasta or sausage. Nonetheless, it was very good!

Ribollita means "reboiled" because it is best if it is heated twice...but that is something that we find is pretty common with most of the soups we make.


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks (white parts only)
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 medium potato, finely diced
1 medium Zucchini, finely diced
1/2 bunch kale, chopped (okay, this is a little vague - you just have to figure out about how much looks "right" in the soup)
6 cups beef broth, or more as needed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 fresh sage leaves
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
3 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, one left whole
3 slices Italian bread, crust removed (okay, we think our French batards worked very well)
1 cup canned cannellini beans
1/2 can of 14.5-ounce diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling (Italians are really into this...for us it is usually too much oil)


In a large pot, melt butter and saute the leeks and celery for a few minutes on medium-high, then add carrot, potato, zucchini and kale and cook for 5 minutes more. Add beef broth and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the 1/3 cup of olive oil, sage, rosemary and 2 crushed garlic cloves over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the whole clove, and set aside. At the same time, toast the bread on both sides (we used the toaster). Then take the whole garlic out and rub on the toasted bread.

Add the beans, tomatoes and the herb seasoned olive oil to soup mixture (but not the herbs) and cook for another 6 minutes. Pour half of soup to another pot and top with a layer of bread. Repeat. Let sit for 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, reheat gently and serve in bowls. In Italy, they would drizzle with more olive oil...we just ate it!