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.)

A healthy, delicious recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup called 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.)

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.

A flavorful hearty stew from Tuscany, called Ribollita with Cannellini beans, lacinato kale, and vegetables, served with crusty bread, drizzled with a Lemon Rosemary Garlic Oil. | www.feastingathome.com

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.

A healthy, delicious recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup called 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.)

Expert Tips

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.

A healthy, delicious recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup called 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.)

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…

A healthy, delicious recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup called 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.)

More White Bean Soup Recipes

Have a delicious weekend! Let us know how you like Ribollita in the comments below!

xoxo

Sylvia

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Tuscan Bean Soup Recipe called Ribollita made with with Cannellini beans, lacinato kale, and vegetables, served with crusty bread, drizzled with a Lemon Rosemary Garlic Oil. | www.feastingathome.com

Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)


Description

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.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 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)
  • 46 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
  • 23 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)

Instructions

  1. 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)
  2. In a large, heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and optional pancetta and saute 6-8 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the tomatoes and lacinato kale, and a splash of white wine, and continue sauteing and stirring occasionally for 7-8 minutes.
  5. 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.)
  6. Stir in fresh Italian Parsley. Adjust salt if necessary.
  7. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of the flavorful lemon oil, grated Parmesan ( or Romano) and crusty bread.

Notes

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

Nutrition

  • 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

 

 

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Comments

  1. This recipe is marvellous! I adore the smell of all the earthy flavours permeating the house while it’s cooking. I had to improvise a bit….which brought up a few questions that you might be able to answer. I had a can of Lupini beans which I thought might make a good substitute, but they were quite hard even after cooking. Is that normal? I’ve never cooked with them before.

    The other question that arose was ….Does the parmesan rind melt? Each time I try I wind up with little rubbery pieces after mincing it and adding it. Am I supposed to chop it in the food processor or something beforehand?

    1. Hi Lisa! Great questions! I have never tried Lupini beans- interesting that they were canned- but still hard? I’m not sure what is happening there? As for the rind, you put it in whole- sorry I should have specified. Some if it will melt away into the stew and flavor it- but it will stay intact and you can work around it. 😉

  2. A wonderful white bean soup recipe! I used great northerns beans, and although I didn’t use pancetta, the veggies galore provided such a rich, flavorful broth. I added a few ‘baby bella’ mushrooms. Lovely!

  3. A wonderful white bean soup recipe! I used great northerns beans, and although I didn’t use pancetta, the veggies galore provided such a rich, flavorful broth. I added a few ‘baby bella’ mushrooms. Lovely!

  4. Absolutely delicious. Loved every mouth full. The flavors are amazing. I made it without panchetta. The infused lemon oil is a must. I used kale from our garden. The only green veg above the snow!

  5. I made this tonight and it was delicious. Only changed I made was reducing to 2 cloves of garlic. Had to use baby kale as that was all that was available at my store. Seriously, an excellent recipe.

  6. This soup is delicious!! One question- the ingredients call for 2 cans of canellini beans (drained and minced). But the pictures of the soup look like the beans are whole- not minced. Is that supposed to be drained and “rinsed” by any chance? Anyway, I left the beans whole and it was fantastic!

  7. I haven’t tried this yet but I am extremely surprised that Feasting At Home is not aware of the many absolutely delicious vegan products that are available now. You don’t have to leave out the “bacon” or the “parmesan.” I have no association with the brands I suggest, just a extremely satisfied vegan. ‘Sweet Earth’s Benevolent Bacon and Violife’s Parmesan wedge. Both amazing products that would work beautifully in this recipe.

  8. I make a very similar soup…as most Italian soups with Kale/white bean are in the same spectrum.

    I do like the addition of the infused oil…but once I started to drizzle in a little aged sherry vinegar to finish, It would be sooo difficult to turn back. I do appreciate the recipe though. I picked up another habit to tighten up Italian style soups and its making a cornstarch slurry and blitz alittle of the beans to your point of preference for either a brothy style soup or a heartier mouth feel.

    Brava!

  9. This is a nice, authentic Tuscan recipe ! My husband made it today. He used 5 cans of (drained and washed) cannelloni beans and added about 1 1/2 tsp. hot Spanish paprika and 1.5 tsp freshly ground dried rosemary and thyme from our garden. No bacon. He substituted celery for the fennel, though we love fennel. He added 2 additional cups of vegetable broth to compensate for the extra beans. The kale is perfect in it. We didn’t make the oil, maybe next time.

  10. Looking for a hearty soup on a cold day, this was perfect and really delicious, I added a half teaspoon of chili powder to eat for a little extra heat and served it with crusty garlic bread, everyone loved it, the oil with it really gave it a luxurious finish, thanks for an amazing recipe 👍

  11. I’m a huge soup fan, have made hundreds of soup recipes.. this was probably one of the BEST! The parmesan rind is a must, in my opinion- adds so much depth. Left out the meat. The rosemary oil is delicious… YUM! Thank you!

  12. I made this soup (added some white chicken meat) and I must say it was delishous! Afterwards I realized that Kale has Vit K and being on a blood thinner I probably should not have used it. So, does anyone have any recommendations on a substitute for the Kale? I hope to makes this soup a lot more because it’s so good and makes you feel healthy.

      1. In response to Sue who asked about a substitute for the kale, I would steam and strain some chard (pile it up and cut in about 2 inch wide strips) and add it it to the soup not long before serving. This way the chard won’t turn to mush, and won’t dilute the flavour of the soup.

    1. Eat leafy greens! They are good for you, but you just need to eat the same amount every day. It’s not good to take out leafy greens because of anticoagulation meds, but you do need to be consistent. Tell your provider and keep an eye on your INR (might have to adjust coumadin after you decide what your daily K intake will be) and if you’re consistent in your healthy intake of these vital foods, it’ll stay a consistent 2-3 range. If you’re not on Coumadin, then it doesn’t matter 😉

  13. I want to make this for a group of women at a quilt camp.. one is allergic to tomatoes in any format…if I took a serving out prior to adding tomatoes, but adding beans and stock, how would this work? Any other ideas?

    1. hi Lauren, I think your idea would work fine- you would just remove on portion of soup at step three and place it in another little pot. You’ll have to wing it a bit- adding some beans, kale, stock, parm rind in small portions etc, but I think it should work ok, just be sure to season to taste. 🙂
      I guess you could also make the entire soup, leaving out the tomatoes, then removing the portion you need then adding the tomatoes at the end, but you’d need to be sure to really cook them down at the end.

  14. I made this today and it came out delicious!! left out pancetta but will put it in next time, I used celery and also used the rind, excellent 👌

  15. Life during Covid-19.
    Only way to travel is through food.
    Easy, tasty Tuscany.
    Thank you!

  16. Yummy stew! I like it brothy served with crusty bread on the side.
    Left out the pancetta/bacon and parmesan. Used defatted ham stock and sprinkling of nutritional yeast and your site’s vegan cheesy sprinkle.

  17. This was excellent! I usually only like vegetable soups that are pureed, but this one was perfect with no pureeing. I will definitely be adding this to my recipe collection. (I did use less salt, but I tend to do that with most recipes.) As I wasn’t sure my if family would like the fennel, I used 1/2 fennel and 1/2 celery (I’m sure it would be great with either). The complexity of flavors is what put this dish over the edge!

    It went perfectly with homemade crusty sourdough for dunking and an Italian Pinot Grigio. Yum!!! 🙂

  18. I am not a bean fan, nor fond of kale, and other then fennel seeds in sausage, I’m not one to use it (no reasons..just don’t) With that said, holy goodness! Literally making it now and just turned off the heat. I didn’t add fillers as I am a broth fan myself, but did put in the parm rinds. This is so good. Thank you for sharing!

  19. This was delicious! I used liquid smoke instead of pancetta to make the dish a bit more vegetarian.

  20. Hi there – is there anything you’d recommend to sub for the white wine? I have a friend coming over who doesn’t consume alcohol, even when it’s been cooked out.

  21. Yum. Rich, tasty, fed the family! didnt need the xtra oil but that did add a little something special. Please make sure you like garlic
    😉 Perfect with rustic bread. Gah but the pain of converting US measurements to metric!

    Thanks for this recipe

  22. Made this without the pancetta, used celery, canned beans and chopped tomatoes and vegetable bouillon stock. I did add some Parmesan rind. It was delicious! This will be a “keeper”.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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