It doesn't get better than a satisfying pot of Ribollita, a classic Tuscan soup that's made with white beans, vegetables, and hearty day-old bread. Make it stovetop or in your slow-cooker. And you'll love the rich Italian flavors, thanks to a couple of herbs and a little Parmesan cheese magic!

Be sure to read through for tips and watch the video for how to make it below.

Ribollita in serving bowls with a side of crushed red pepper flakes

Zuppa di ribollita!

Ribollita, pronounced ree-bohl-LEE-tah, is a classic, hearty Tuscan white bean soup (stew) with vegetables, thickened with day-old bread. It's typically seasoned with some herbs (fresh or dried), and in this recipe, an additional secret flavor maker: Parmesan cheese rind!

The word "ribollita" translates from the Italian to "reboiled," as this soup was typically made by reboiling leftover bean and vegetable soups the next day, adding bits of stale bread for a thicker and more filling stew.

It is truly a brilliant warm-your-belly meatless dinner that's meant to use up what you have on hand. And like other centuries-old Italian recipes, including my earlier chicken cacciatore, there are many modern variations of ribollita.

And you can file this under vegetarian recipes, but it's important to remember that not all Parmesan cheese is vegetarian.

This Tuscan ribollita recipe, while not 100 percent traditional, is delicious and satisfying--just the perfect meal to feed a hungry crowd. I can't wait for you to try it!

ribollita tuscan white bean soup ingredients

What beans and vegetables to use?

Classic ribollita ingredients are quite humble: white beans such as cannellini beans, leafy greens like kale, and vegetables like onions, carrots, celery (which make a tasty sofrito, gently sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, to start the soup). Tomatoes (or canned tomatoes as in today's recipe) are also added.

Remember that you can make this recipe your own by adding other vegetables you have on hand. I've often used spinach in place of kale. And an Italian friend of mine tells me that her family makes a summer version with summer squash or zucchini.

What kind of bread to use?

The bread is what separates a ribollita recipe from another white bean soup or a minestrone (another one you should try, by the way).

You will need some crusty, hearty, day-old bread. I used ciabatta in today's recipe, but another Italian country bread or even something like French boule will work.

soup in the pot with a side of toasted bread and crushed red pepper flakes

Important tips for the bread:

  • Cut the bread in large chunks. As you see in the video, I use my hand to tear the bread apart into large chunks. Don't cut it with a knife into small cubes. Small cubes will not give you the right texture here.
  • Toast the bread in the oven. Drizzle the big chunks of bread with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and toast in a high-heated oven (400 degrees F) for just 10 minutes or so. The olive oil flavors the bread and it will crsip up just enough in the oven. Although the bread will soften quite a bit in the soup, I think this step does make a difference.
  • Keep some of the toasted bread to garnish the soup for texture. This way, you'll also have some if you need it later!
  • When to add the bread to your ribollita soup? In this recipe, I add a portion of the bread to the pot of bean and vegetable soup toward the end of cooking time (or a few minutes before serving) the bread soaks some fo the liquid beautifully. You can also add the bread in the serving bowls directly and ladle the soup on top, give it a few minutes to absorb. But, if you're not serving the soup rightaway, you'll want to hold the bread and add it later (see my make ahead note below).
chunks of toasted bread on a sheet pan

Flavor makers

Typically, a few fresh or dry herbs are used. In this recipe we have thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and dry oregano. And if you like a bit of heat, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

But the secret flavor maker is: Parmesan rind! If you used to throw away your cheese rind, you need to keep it in your freezer for soup recipes like this one.

As the soup simmers beautifully, the Parmesan rind will dissolve some (or entirely depending on how much you used), imparting richness and flavor. You will take out whatever is left of the rind along with the bay leaf and thyme springs before serving.

Tips for make-ahead ribollita

Yes, this Tuscan white bean soup is even better the next day, remember the beans and vegetables are meant to be reboiled again for even more flavor, but here is what you want to do for best results:

  • Cook the soup with the beans and vegetables but leave the bread out.
  • When ready to serve, reboil the soup (remember, it's meant to be reboiled).
  • Tear the bread apart and toast with a bit of extra virgin olive oil in the oven.
  • Add the toasted bread in the boiling soup and give it a few minutes to absorb (and it's always a good idea to leave some of the toasted bread for garnish, this gives some texture)
Ribollita served with a garnish of Paremsan

Can I make this soup in the slow cooker?

I'm more of a Dutch oven gal (affiliate link), but if you want to use dry beans for this recipe, the slow cooker (affiliate) is your best bet. You can use 1 cup dry cannellini beans (no need to soak) and leave out the kale and bread until later when the soup is almost ready. Set the slow cooker on high for 6 hours or low for 12 hours (at which point, you can stir in the kale and allow it a few minutes to cook).

Toast the bread and add it to the soup a few minutes before you are ready to serve.

Need more bean recipes? Check out 17 Bean Recipes for any night of the week.

You may also like:

Chunky vegan Lentil Soup

Sweet Potato Stew

Vegetarian Moussaka

Stuffed Eggplant with Chickpeas and Couscous

Visit our collection of Mediterranean recipes and our top Mediterranean diet recipes.

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4.95 from 125 votes

Ribollita Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh
Ribollita served with a garnish of Paremsan
It doesn't get better than a satisfying pot of Ribollita, a classic Tuscan soup that's made with white beans, vegetables, and hearty day-old bread. Make it stovetop or in your slow-cooker (see notes section for this option). And you'll love the rich Italian flavors, thanks to a couple of herbs and a little Parmesan cheese magic!
Prep – 15 mins
Cook – 45 mins
Serves – 6 people (up to)


  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 to 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 28 oz canned whole San Marzano tomatoes (or any whole canned tomatoes you like)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 15- oz cans cannellini beans drained and well rinsed
  • 1 inch Parmesan rind
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 lb kale, thick stems and veins removed, chopped
  • grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Tear the bread into large pieces and put it on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss to make sure the bread is coated. Spread the bread in one layer on the sheet pan. Bake in the heated oven for about 10 minutes or until somewhat toasted and golden brown.
  • In a large cooking pot, heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Sprinkle a little kosher salt. Lower the heat to medium and cook, tossing regularly, until softened. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, tossing regularly (do not let the garlic brown).
  • Add the tomatoes, white wine and broth. Cook over medium heat for little bit, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, combine about ½ cup of the brothy tomato mixture and 1 cup of the cannelini beans. Puree.
  • To the pot with the tomato mixture, add the parmesan rind, fresh thyme, bay leaf, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir to combine. Let simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  • Now add the white beans (both the whole and pureed beans) and fresh kale (stir to make sure the kale is submerged in the soup) to the cooking pot. Let the kale cook for a few minutes. Add ½ of the toasted ciabatta bread and stir. Let simmer a little bit longer until the kale has fully cooked and the bread has softened and absorbed some fo the liquid (see notes).
  • Remove from the heat. Remove what is left of the Parmesan rind, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Top the soup with a bit more of the toasted bread. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan, if you like. Enjoy!



  • Low carb option...add the bread to the serving bowls instead. If you're not sure you're going to finish the ribollita soup in one dinner, or if some in your family need their ribollita with little or no bread, consider adding the toasted bread directly to the serving bowls, then ladle the bean and vegetable soup on top and allow a few minutes for the bread to absorb some of the liquid. 
  • Make ahead option. If you are not planning on serving the soup right away, or if you're making it ahead for lunch or dinner the next day, cook the soup with the beans and vegetables according to the recipe but hold off on the bread. When you're ready to serve it, reboil the soup (remember, ribollita means reboiled). While the soup is reboiling, toast the bread in the oven with a bit of extra virgin olive oil (step 1). Add some of the bread to the soup and allow it a bit of time to absorb the liquid and soften. Always keep a bit of the toasted bread to garnish, it gives great texture. 
  • Slow Cooker Option. If you want to use a slow cooker, you can use 1 cup of dried beans. Skip steps #1 and #2, you will toast the bread later before you serve. Cook the sofrito per step #3 then transfer to the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the kale. Set the slow cooker on high for 6 hours or low for 12 hours (always a good idea to check on the soup from time to time). Follow the You can use 1 cup dry cannellini beans (no need to soak). Add the kale and leave it a few minutes (should be on high) until cooked. A few minutes before serving, remove the Parmesan rind, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Toast the bread and add it to the soup and allow it a bit of time to soak up some of the liquid.
  • Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils, spices and more. 


Calories: 287.7kcalCarbohydrates: 48.2gProtein: 12.5gSaturated Fat: 0.6gPotassium: 1073.9mgFiber: 6.1gVitamin A: 11453.5IUVitamin C: 107mgCalcium: 228.8mgIron: 4.9mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. I haven’t made this yet. However, I have a question about adding meat to this dish? I’m wondering about Italian sausage?

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Suzy,
        Happy New Year!
        I made the Ribollita this evening with the Italian sausage and it was amazing! I cooked the sausage and used the left over fat to sauté the sofrito. Then followed the rest of the recipe from there. I omitted the chili flakes because I used hot Italian sausage. I will make the original recipe during Lent.

  2. 5 stars
    Let me start by saying, I generally do not write reviews of recipes. I made this for an Italian dinner I was hosting on Thanksgiving. Every single bowl was clean in a matter of minutes! My husband is already hinting that we should make it again, soon, as in this next coming week because the entire pot of soup is GONE! It was so well received that I am cruising Suzy's website for additional recipe ideas. But I have to buy more wine; I drank the wine. oops.

  3. 4 stars
    I have made this soup a number of times now and its time for me to finally give you some feedback on it. This soup is SO delicious! I find myself craving it often! The first time I ever made it I didn't really have enough money to go buy a bottle of wine so I substituted it for white wine vinegar. The bread and the white wine flavor make this so unique and tasty! Its possibly my boyfriend's favorite soup. He gets excited about cooking it too now! Thanks so much Suzy !

  4. 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner and it was SO delicious! Only change was to omit the wine and add a bit more broth instead. I think "serves 6" is very modest because even with me having two servings (it was just that good, mmm) and feeding 2 hungry teenagers, I have a ton of leftovers for lunch this week (yay). Definitely cooking this again!

  5. How about Instant Pot cooking instructions? Though I can always just use the IP in soup mode, using it as a pressure cooker often improves flavors and speeds things up, as well as allowing me to go off to do other things while it's cooking. Slow cookers tend to muddle flavors, and pressure cooking does a much better job of cooking beans.

    1. Hi, Jake. I think this could probably be made in an instant pot...I personally have not tried it, though, so can't tell you from experience. I recommend that you check out your device's instruction/recipe manual and see what setting/time combo they recommend for cooking similar soups.

    1. Not at this time, unfortunately. We're still trying to find a good solution for international shipping.

  6. 5 stars
    I have just discovered your website and signed up for emails. I am trying to eat healthier and feel sure I can enjoy these recipes. Thank you for your hard work and for helping us to eat healthier and enjoy it more!!

  7. 5 stars
    By far, this is one of the best soups I have made. Did not use kale, substituted fresh spinach. We enjoyed two hearty dinners and another lunch from this recipe. It just got better! Thank you for this recipe. A cold weather staple for us now.

  8. 5 stars
    This soup so exceeded my expectations. Everything about it is perfect. Since there are just two of us, we have leftovers for a second dinner, so listened to the advice to just put the toasted bread in each of our bowls. So delicious and this will be a winter staple from now on. Thanks so much for a wonderful dinner.

  9. 5 stars
    After all the seasonings, and parmesan it tasted like pizza soup. I imagine picky eaters might just love this vitamin packed soup.

  10. This was a really good soup. Barely have enough to save for the next day. Love it. May granddaughter had 2 huge helpings!!
    Can't wait to make more of your recipes.

    Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    Love this soup so much! I swap out the veggie broth for homemade bone broth. You can also enhance flavor with a dollop of pesto when serving.

  12. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe and will definitely be making this again soon. We had plenty left over and had some the next day but I found the toasted bread had gone a little soft and gooey which personally I didn't like however it did not detract from the amazing flovor. Next time, if I know there will be left overs I'll put the toasted bread in the individual bowls before serving so it keeps crispy.
    I'm going to try the Three Bean Soup which was on your Weekly Meal Plan which also looks so yummy.
    I love your site and all the delicious Mediterranean recipes.

  13. 5 stars
    I made this with spinach in place of kale and my family loved it! They are asking to have it again already. Definitely will be making this again,

  14. 5 stars
    Phenomenal soup! Skipped the bread but just did it on the side as usual. For those who are Whole Foods shoppers - some carry Parmesan rinds in their cheese section. 👍🏻😉

  15. 5 stars
    I just made this for the first time, only making one substitution based on the contents of my produce drawer: I used one-half pound baby spinach and one-half pound Tuscan (lacinato) kale instead of the full pound of kale called for in the recipe. Turned out flavorful, comforting and filling. So delicious! Can't wait to have it again tomorrow night. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, Suzy!

  16. 5 stars
    Wow, amazing. Whole family enjoyed the ribollita recipe, even the youngest, who is not too adventurous. Added Italian sausage to keep carnivores happy. Incorporated toasted bread just before serving. Looking forward to trying your easy Moroccan lamb stew recipe.