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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Akshay

Tuscan Ribollita Soup

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that here at the Isa-Akshay home we honour and celebrate both Italian and Indian cultural and culinary traditions (and everything in between and beyond).

So last weekend was all about #Diwali and was spent mostly binge eating the most delicious Indian curries and breads and sweets.

This week the theme will be getting back to moderate, lighter eating and I’d like to kickstart with this delicious, #vegan soup hailing from Tuscany and called Ribollita.

According to tradition, this hearty stew - the name meaning "re-boiled" - originated in hilltop villages throughout Tuscany during the Middle Ages, where hungry, hard-working peasants who served table-side to their wealthy landowners, would pocket leftover crusts and crumbs and bits of food after abundant feasts and add these to their soups and stews at home. Nothing was wasted. Here’s how I made it:

INGREDIENTS (serves 4, can be stored in portions and frozen)

Dried borlotti beans - 250g

Extra virgin olive oil - 3 tbsp

Veggie stock - 2l

Garlic - 2 cloves

Tomatoes - 2

Tuscan kale (cavolo nero) - 500g

Cabbage - 200g

Carrots - 3

Celery - 1 stalk

Potatoes - 2

Leeks - 1 large

Fresh or dried thyme - 2 strands

Fresh or dried bay leaf - 1

Salt and pepper to taste

Tuscan bread (I used dark rye bread here instead)


Soak beans overnight in cold water. The next morning, drain and place in a large pot with salted water and cook until they are 80% done.

In another pot, heat olive oil and add minced garlic and bay leaf. Sauté for 30 secs.

Next add chopped leeks, carrots, celery, cubed potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the leeks start to brown. Add a few ladles of stock if it starts to brown.

In the meantime, remove the thicker stalks from kale and chop roughly. Also chop cabbage and tomato into large chunks.

Add remaining stock, beans, cabbage and kale, along with thyme to the pot. Boil until all veggies and beans are cooked through.

Coarsely tear bread into large chunks and add it to the soup before serving.

Note: If you are planning to freeze some of it, do not add the bread to that.

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