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A healthy, delicious recipe for Tuscan White Bean Soup also known as Ribollita – made with Cannellini beans, lacinato kale, and vegetables, drizzled with a Lemon Rosemary Garlic Oil. Hearty, nourishing, and easily vegan-Adaptable. (With a Video.)
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This day will never come again. ~Merton
This hearty flavorful Tuscan White Bean Soup, called Ribollita, originates from hilltop villages throughout Tuscany where, during the Middle Ages, hungry, hard-working peasants who served table-side to their wealthy landowners, would pocket the leftover crusts and crumbs and bits of meat after abundant feasts and add these to their soups and stews at home.
Ribollitta translates to “re-boiled”.
Nothing was wasted. Traditionally, it’s a big pot of soup made with simple garden vegetables like onions, carrots, celery, kale, tomatoes and cannellini beans (or white beans) in a flavorful broth, thickened with bread, then reheated and eaten several days in row, getting better and better each day.
White Bean Soup (Ribolitta) | 50-sec video
Why I love this recipe
This recipe is just so wholesome and cozy and full of so much flavor. A meal unto itself! It’s a perfect winter soup that can be made vegan or vegetarian – the pancetta is totally optional and can be omitted altogether if vegan or vegetarian.
How to elevate White Bean Soup
- For extra depth of flavor, add a bit of whole, Parmesan rind to the simmering soup, which will give it amazing flavor.
- To me, what really elevates this recipe is the “finishing oil” – a drizzle of olive oil infused with lemon zest, garlic and rosemary which gives this sometimes somber soup a delicious brightness.
- Serve it with or over Crispy Sourdough Toast– like you see here in our Brothy Beans Recipe!
How to serve Ribollita
Serve Ribollita with crusty bread to mop up all the tasty flavors, and a drizzle of Lemony Rosemary oil.
It’s hearty enough for dinner, just on its own, and gets better and better each day…so I like making a big pot of this and eating it throughout the week.
To thicken the soup, you can blend a cup of the beans into a puree, or add torn pieces of day-old bread into the soup itself, cooking the bread down. It will add a delicious heartiness.
However personally, I’m a broth fan, so I leave this brothy and un-thickened so there are more juices to dip the crusty bread in while eating. Of course, this is a personal preference, so do as you like.
On the homefront: Several years ago now, my group of girlfriends and I took a trip to Tuscany together. After years of planning, saving and dreaming, the time came when we were finally there, in a little hilltop village, soaking up all the Tuscan sunshine, wine and food we could handle.
Time seemed to slow way down, the hillsides were golden and glittery, so much beauty and detail to absorb.
There is something truly special about making the decision to go somewhere, and then to actually go. Life is so short. I feel it getting shorter every single day, and I guess I just want to impress upon you to do the things you’ve always dreamed of doing, and not to wait too long.
This is where this soup came from…
More White Bean Soup Recipes
- Brothy Beans on Garlic Toast
- Creamy White Bean Soup with Gremolata
- Tuscan Cannellini Bean Soup
- Smoky Tomato White Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken and White Bean Soup
- Pumpkin Soup with Leeks and White beans
- Brothy Tortellini Soup w/ Spinach, White Beans & Basil
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup (Vegan!)
Have a delicious weekend! Let us know how you like Ribollita in the comments below!
Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
A hearty flavorful Tuscan White Bean Soup called Ribollita with lacinato kale, cannellini beans and garden vegetables served with crusty bread and drizzled with a flavorful lemon rosemary oil. See notes for vegan option.
- 1/8 cup good olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped pancetta or bacon –optional (feel free to leave this out, or sub vegan bacon)
- 2 cups diced onions
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced fennel bulb (or sub celery)
- 4 – 6 cloves garlic- rough chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 2–3 medium tomatoes – diced (or a 14-ounce can diced tomatoes)
- 6 cups lacinato kale, chopped
- Splash white wine
- 6 cups chicken or veggie stock
- Parmesan rind (optional, but adds depth and flavor)
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans – or use 2 cans cannellini beans (drained, rinsed), or great northern white beans
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Grated pecorino or Parmesan – optional or try vegan parmesan
- Crusty Bread
Rosemary Lemon Garlic Oil ( for drizzling)
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- zest of one large lemon
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- few sprigs rosemary (or thyme, sage)
- Make the Lemon Garlic Rosemary Oil – place all ingredients in a small jar or bowl and let sit on the counter (or make the day before, refrigerating)
- In a large, heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and optional pancetta and saute 6-8 minutes.
- Lower heat to med-low and add the carrots, fennel (or celery) and garlic, salt, pepper and chili flakes, and cook another 7- 9 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Add the tomatoes and lacinato kale, and a splash of white wine, and continue sauteing and stirring occasionally for 7-8 minutes.
- Add the stock and beans. Bring to soup to boil, turn heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.(You could add a Parmesan rind to the simmering soup for extra depth of flavor.)
- Stir in fresh Italian Parsley. Adjust salt if necessary.
- Serve in bowls with a drizzle of the flavorful lemon oil, grated Parmesan ( or Romano) and crusty bread.
- NOTE: If you like a thicker soup, blend or puree 1-2 cups of the soup, and add back to the soup. Or, thicken it with day-old bread, torn into small pieces and cooked with the broth. This is the traditional way. (I prefer a brothier version of this soup, so I skip both and serve with toasty bread on the side instead.)
- Keep this vegan by using veggie broth, no pancetta or parmesan. The rosemary oil will add a delicious flavor – I highly recommend it. Sometimes I’ll add a tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast for a more cheesy flavor and 1 tablespoon miso paste to add more depth. Up to you.
- Serving Size: with ½ cup chopped "Turkey bacon", parmesan and the finishing oil.
- Calories: 325
- Sugar: 4.5 g
- Sodium: 851.7 mg
- Fat: 18 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 32.3 g
- Fiber: 7.1 g
- Protein: 12.3 g
- Cholesterol: 15.7 mg
Keywords: Tuscan Bean Soup, Ribollita, Ribollita Recipe, White bean soup, tuscan white bean soup, tuscan white bean stew, ribollita recipe, italian white bean soup
I’m simmering this recipe on a busy weeknight for my family and oh my gosh the flavor is perfect, no salt even added yet and wow! I did use smoked ham & bacon for my meat loving husband and used in season red mustard greens(definitely omit the red pepper if you do this bc mustard greens are a bit spicy!), I also added half a Vidalia onion and a shallot instead of all regular onion, I took a little taste before simmering and it’s seriously so yummy! I think my family will really enjoy this one and it’s giving them such a nutrient dense meal! Thank you!!!!! Next time I think I’ll add swiss chard stems instead of celery because we like the flavor more but otherwise it’s delightful! 10/10!
Thanks, Brittany- so happy you enjoyed this!
Delicious flavours!! Highly recommend.
I can’t wait to try this recipe. It’s exactly what I was looking for! Sylvia, I love your recipes and how healthy and flavorful they are. Thank you!
Thanks so much Sarah-appreciate this!
I have made this SO many times, a real winner. Am simmering it away right now and realised I never said thank you, so thanks so much!!
I simmer it away without kale for around 30min to get depth of flavour from the Parmesan and then add the kale in the last 10min as I like it a bit fresher 🙂
Awesome Caidy! Glad you have been enjoying this, and I like that idea with the kale. 🙂
Excellent flavors and textures! I added the optional pancetta and at the end added chopped up very stale crusty bread. I will definitely be making this regularly.
Yum! sounds great!
The soup is simmering as we speak. It’s the first time I try this recipe and I’m curios why yours turned out yellow. I’ve used the same ingredients, haven’t changed anything. Mine is reddish. Is it the stock maybe that gives yours the yellow color or am I missing something? 🙂
I’m not sure Mireca- could it be the photo’s lighting? I made the recipe as stated. 🙂
I wonder if Sylvia used fresh tomatoes and you used canned tomatoes with the juice? I think that would make a difference in the color.
Yummy 😋! Sooo ono! Love this soup…will do it many more times for my ‘ohana…
Great to hear Stacey!
We added root veggies (rutabaga, parsnip, fennel bulb) and hot Italian sausage simmered to a stew-like consistency. Absolutely wonderful!!
I added a bit of zucchini that I had in the fridge and also threw in some fresh rosemary, thyme and bay leaves at the end. The soup is delicious
I make this recipe over and over, I’ve made it dozens of times, and we love it. We are vegetarian, I add some julienned sun dried tomatoes at the end as I think they give it some richness to replace the meat. I keep meaning to try adding the miso but keep forgetting to add it!
Thanks so much Amy! The sundried tomatoes sound lovely here!
This is one of my go-to recipes in the colder months of the year. It’s a delicious bean soup and with the oil drizzle and gremolata it is simply divine.
Wonderful to hear Rose!
This soup has become my favourite. I’ve made with and without bacon, but always with the Parmesan rind and rosemary oil. A yummy comforting winter soup.
Great to hear Renee!
Super yummy! I agree that the garlic lemon rosemary oil is 100% key to bringing this to the next level. I also added the juice of half a lemon at the very end to brighten it up. TONS of parmesan! *Chef’s kiss* Will totally make again!
I love the oil here too! Glad you enjoyed Rhonda!
I never leave comments but felt compelled to do so in this case because this is most delicious soup I have ever made! The lemon, garlic, rosemary oil is a must and adds such complexity to the soup. I will be making this so many more times!
Thanks so much for commenting we really appreciate it!
Absolutely delicious! We have made this several times & love it. Thank you!
This is a very good version of this soup, and Ribollita. I married an Italian way back in 1982, and lived in Tuscany “as an Italian” for 20 years. (still keep a foothold after 40 years) I cooked with all of our friends, all locals, I learned a great deal. It took me some time to figure out the ingredients and exactly how Ribollita is made, one of my favorite foods. Just a couple of notes on the traditional Ribollita: I have never seen a Tuscan add bacon or pancetta, Ribollita is considered a vegetable soup/stew. The “White Bean Soup” is made, in great quantity and after a few days of being cooked, (best on a wood burning stove, but a crock pot does the trick) then it will be turned into “Ribollita” literally, “reboiled” soup. The thick soup is ladled into usually, a glazed earthenware pot, alternating with layers of toasted old Tuscan crusty bread, (sometimes raw garlic is rubbed on the bread) a generous drizzle, very generous, of extra virgin olive oil, the better the quality the better the soup, then a generous sprinkling of parmesan, even a quarter inch deep, continue until you have finished the soup. Cook this thoroughly, at least an hour, I would probably crockpot cook it a couple of hours. This, is how the age old traditional Ribollita is made. Usually it is simply served with a very good EV olive oil poured on top (to one’s liking) and a
lot freshly grated parmesan. Thank you for providing this recipe which I am going to share with my American friends and family!
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for your helpful comments on this recipe. Thanks to you I omitted the pancetta and used a couple of cubed slices of crusty wheat bread to thicken the soup during the last 10 minutes or so. It was delicious! Will definitely make this again using your comments as my guideline!
This soup is amazing and so full of flavor. I’ve made it several times and it has become a family favorite. The pancetta adds a nice depth (or I also substituted bacon which worked well) along with a rind of Parmesan. The garlic-lemon zest-rosemary oil is a wonderful flourish at the end. For those who like an even heartier winter soup for a main dish, adding a bit of heavy cream does the trick.In the spring, I will try the vegan version. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
Wonderful, soul soothing soup❤️
I made this vegan and added a tablespoon of white miso as suggested. Loved it, thank you!
Thanks Megan glad you liked it!
Best soup I have ever had anywhere!!
Oh YAY Tommy! Thanks so much!
My whole family flips over this soup. I add 3-4 hot Italian sausage links seared and cut into small rounds and omit the chile flakes. Also increase stock to 8 cups for more broth.
Sounds great, so glad you all are enjoying!