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, vegan 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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4.96 from 173 votes

Ribollita Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish. In the kitchenSuzy 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 minutes
Cook – 45 minutes
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. Ann Marie Crocker says:

    Hi ! Just made soup this morning,I added mushrooms chop small,and one more can of beans . Was really great ,I’ve been in restaurant business for years never had this !A winner , thank you AM

    1. TMD Team says:

      Love hearing this, Ann Marie! Thank you!

  2. Cathy says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! My husband won’t eat kale so I sub spinach and it’s always so tasty, especially on a chilly day.

  3. Monika says:


    1. TMD Team says:

      Unfortunately, we lost that function with a recent webpage redesign, and will not be able to get it back. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience, Monika.

  4. Shari Karanas says:

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness!! My husband and I enjoyed this so much! The flavors are amazing. It’s easy to cook and yummy to slop up with crusty bread. Thank you Suzi for another fabulous recipe!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      My pleasure, Shari! Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Emi says:

    5 stars
    Hands down the best recipe for this wonderful soup stew. I survived on this during a very cold visit to Florence in February. Brings back memories when I taste this soup. The body of this soup is heightened by puréing a portion of the beans and adding it into the pot. Don’t skip this step. So lovely!!!

  6. Leslie says:

    How well would chickpeas work as a sub for the cannellini beans? Am giving this recipe a try now, and realized I've only got one can of the cannellini beans on hand.


    1. TMD Team says:

      Absolutely, Leslie. You can totally use chickpeas in a pinch here. Enjoy!

  7. Debbie says:

    5 stars
    Made this last night and husband and I both bought it was wonderful! Another Mediterranean Dish winner!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Wonderful! Thanks, Debbie!

  8. Missy says:

    5 stars
    So DELICIOUS!! This is my first official Mediterranean Diet dish and I love it - my family loves it too!

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! You picked a good one to start with :).

  9. Jay J says:

    5 stars
    Have made over and over again. Love this--everything about it. I usually use whole wheat sourdough, which is great in this.

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoy this one, Jay!

  10. Emily says:

    Hello! I want to make this but not sure about the kale (my husband is picky). What can I use in place of kale? Spinach? Thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Emily. Spinach would a great substitute here. Enjoy!

  11. Jenny G says:

    5 stars
    Made this for my son's return from college and oh my goodness was it a hit! Thank you for providing such an incredible recipe, this is a keeper (and I appreciate the video- I'm a visual learner!).

  12. Saleh says:

    Looks great! Do you have a substitute recommendation for white wine (non-alcoholic)? Thanks.

    1. Suzy says:

      Veggie or chicken broth would work in place of the wine here!

  13. Emily Carpenter says:

    5 stars
    It’s coming off the stove now!!!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hope you loved it, Emily!

  14. Jean White says:

    5 stars
    This is similar to Lidia's recipe, which I've used in the past, but one thing I have discovered: add around a teaspoon of ground fennel seed to the mix while cooking. To me, it elevated the dish so very much.
    Also, Tuscan kale blows away any other.

  15. Sandy says:

    I have made this recipe before and have returned because it was so delicious. Shared it with my sister, whose family also loved it. One question - I just opened a bottle of Merlot, which I used last night for Garlic Mushroom Pasta from this site. What would happen if I used Merlot instead of the white wine? Has anyone ever tried this?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Sandy. That would totally work!

  16. Beth says:

    5 stars
    Wow! This is our new favorite soup. Expected it to be great, as we can't seem to go wrong with Mediterranean Dish recipes. If you have not tried this, do.... BTW, I happened to have half a cabbage in the refrig, so chopped it up and used in place of kale. It was wonderful as well.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks so much, Beth!