Tuscan soup recipe: ribollita alla fiorentina

The Ribollita is a traditional Tuscan soup with stale bread and vegetables, typical of the areas of Florence, Arezzo, the Piana di Pisa and the Serchio Valley. It is a ‘poor dish’ (piatto povero) that originates from the farmers’ diet in the past.

The name means “re-boiled” and derives from the fact that peasants would cook it in large quantities – especially on Fridays, the Lean Day during which Catholics would abstain from eating meat – and would then “re-boiled” it on the following days.

ribollita tuscan soup recipe - photo by Marta Mancini
Ribollita – photo by Marta Mancini on visittuscany

Here is the recipe suggested by the chefs of Dama Dama Restaurant in Porto Ercole, Maremma Tuscany.

Type: Vegetable soup
Cuisine style: Typical/Rustic
Origin: Tuscany

Ingredients for 1 kg. of soup

  • 100 g. onions
  • 50 g. fresh spinach
  • 50 g. chard
  • 200 g. black cabbage
  • 400 g. dry cannellini beans
  • 50 g. leek
  • 80 g. celery
  • 80 g. carrots
  • 2 g. tomato concentrate gr. 400
  • 300 g. stale bread
  • 150 g. extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 g. table salt
  • 2 g. grinded black pepper


The beans must stay in cold water for 5-6 hours before you start cooking. Then cook them in a classic way. Take half of the beans and pass them through the vegetable mill, then pour them in the cooking broth.

Clean the herbs and cut them in a fruit-salad style. Clean all the vegetables and cut them in a rough julienne style.

Blanch the black cabbage in water and salt.

Pan-fry the herbs in oil, add all the vegetables, the mashed beans and the tomato concentrate. Cook slowly for 1 hour, then add the remaining (whole) beans and the bread cut into medium chunks. Then cook for 15 minutes.

Once cooked, let it cool up well.

Dress with olive oil and ground black pepper, then heat it in the oven (better if a wood-fired oven) or in an iron pan.

You can serve the soup hot or lukewarm, in a terracotta tureen.

Combine with a Chianti Gallo Nero

Buon appetito!

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