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Ribollita soup

A delicious minestrone-style Italian soup. Based on an original recipe kindly sent in by Jack McNulty.

Time 50 Minutes

Ingredients List

Serves 2
  • 500 g borlotti beans (cooked)
  • 3 lt water
  • 0.5 medium savoy cabbage (head, sliced very thin)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 medium celery (ribs, sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 medium carrots (sliced)
  • 0.5 bunch kale tuscan (sliced, about 75 packed)
  • 200 g potatoes (waxy, cubed)
  • 1.5 lt vegetable broth
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 medium tomatoes (pureed)
  • 2.5 dl spinach chopped
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 400 g dark bread (stale, cubed)


  1. In a large pot, boil the water, add salt and sliced cabbage. Cook for 3-5 minutes, strain and run under cold water. Reserve.
  2. In a large wide pot, water saute the onions, celery, whole garlic cloves and carrots. Cook until the vegetables soften – about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the kale, potatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until potatoes and vegetables are soft – about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add reserved cabbage and pureed tomatoes. Simmer another five minutes.
  5. Puree about half the cooked beans, then add the reserved beans and pureed beans to the soup. Cook 10 minutes and adjust seasoning.
  6. Add the spinach and adjust seasoning again.
  7. Add the cubed, stale dark bread and remove from the heat.
  8. Cool completely and refrigerate. When ready to serve, bring to a simmer and garnish with chopped parsley and a few drizzles of flax seed oil.

It is difficult to find the ‘real’ version in restaurants as most variations contain cheese, too much tomato product or too little vegetables. Ribollita means re-boil in English, which is exactly what makes this minestrone-style soup so delicious. The recipe is the standard Italian version, but you can easily substitute many of the ingredients listed below to make your own version.

Jack McNulty takes you through the recipe step-by-step