Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Stew)

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!With Halloween right around the corner, let’s chat about one of the creepiest things out there: Ouija boards.  Now we love our board games around here, and I chat about them from time to time.  But Ouija boards?  Nope.  Nada.  No, thank you very much.  My brain says they are just fun parlor games, but nevertheless there’s a tiny bit of curiosity and doubt that lingers in the corners of my mind.  Enough curiosity to hold a seance?  No chance in hell!

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!In case you aren’t familiar, Ouija boards are flat boards printed with numbers and letters.  People using the boards place their fingers on a movable tool called a planchette.  According to legend, spirits can communicate to the living via the planchette.  The meter moves and spells out words to answer questions.  I know it’s all fun and games, but you won’t catch me in a dark room with a Ouija board.

Speaking of communicating with the dead, did you know that Mary Todd Lincoln held seances in the White House after one of her sons died of Typhoid fever in 1862.  The First Lady supposedly held several seances as a way to communicate with her son.  What’s more, Abraham Lincoln may have participated in several of these seances as well.  The First Lady claimed that she was able to communicate with her son’s spirit, and this brought her peace.

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!I do love the mysteriously and slightly creepy vibes that come around during Halloween.  Heck, I grew up in Charleston, SC, and I’m fairly certain I saw something in the shadows early one Christmas morning – and it wasn’t Santa Claus.  However, you still won’t catch me in a seance or playing with a Ouija board!

Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Stew)

Switching gears to something I do understand, let’s talk about delicious food!  Have you ever had Ribollita?  This thick stew comes from Tuscany, and (like many soups and stews) there are endless variations of this classic recipe.  One piece that is standard, though, is the use of bread to thicken the stew.  Ribollita literally means ‘re-boiled,’ and this stew came about as a way of reusing leftovers from the previous day’s meal.

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!During the Middle Ages, soup was often served in bread bowls called “trenchers.”  According to legend, commoners would collect leftover trenchers after feasts and then reboil them with whatever vegetables happened to be around.  I have no idea whether this is accurate, but it certainly seems believable enough.

Nowadays, Ribollita is often made as the meal in itself…no need to collect your neighbor’s leftover trenchers.  Ribollita is delicious!  The bread cubes soak up excess broth and help thicken this Tuscan vegetable stew.  Oh, and speaking of vegetables, this stew has plenty of ’em!  Sure, onions, carrots and celery are classic ingredients for a stew, but Ribollita also calls for a potato, zucchini, some Tuscan kale and Swiss chard.  As a result, this stew has a ton of flavor!  In fact, over the past couple of years, this stew has become a household staple – I’d bet we make this one at least 3-4 times each winter.

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!As we head into the colder parts of the year (at least here in the Northern hemisphere), I highly recommend putting Ribollita on the menu!  It’s a hearty stew that’s packed with flavor, and it’s pleasantly low in calories as well.  Enjoy!

Did you make a batch of this Ribollita at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!

Ribollita

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 240kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 zucchini diced
  • 1 large Russet potato peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale chopped, stems trimmed off and leaves chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard stems trimmed off and leaves chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15.5-oz. can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and mashed lightly
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 cups day-old bread cubes 1” cubes
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • {optional} toasted rustic bread for serving

Instructions

  • Using a large soup pot or Dutch oven, add olive oil and place over medium heat.
  • Once hot, add onion, carrots and celery; stir until well combined. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add garlic; stir until well combined. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add zucchini and potato; stir until well combined. Continue cooking for 7-8 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add kale leaves and Swiss chard leaves; stir until well combined. Continue cooking for 7-8 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add tomatoes, beans, parsley, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and chicken stock; stir until well combined.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add bread cubes; stir until well combined. Continue simmering for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir half of the Parmesan cheese into soup.
  • Divide into bowls and top with remaining Parmesan before serving.
  • {Optional} Serve with toasted slices of rustic bread.

With chilly Winter days around the corner, grab some leftover bread and make a pot of Ribollita.  This Tuscan White Bean Stew is a delicious way to warm up on a cold day!

Looking for more tasty soups and stews?  Check out these other favorite recipes, too:

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!Pasta e Fagioli

It's not often you get to include BBQ sauce in a stew!  This Brunswick Stew is loaded with smoked meats and veggies - perfect comfort food for a cold winter night!Brunswick Stew

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!Skinny Asparagus Soup

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26 Comments

    1. Hi Deborah, thanks so much for the feedback. I am certainly not into occultic practices. As far as recipes go, I can certainly say this is a good one – perfect for chilly nights! 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    Actually. I haven’t seen Ouija boards for a while. So I have just googled it, and you know what? There is a board game store selling lots of this stuff just around my office. Their slogan is “Ouija boards “are the must have gift”. Are you certainly-certainly sure I shouldn’t get one for your Christmas present? 🙂 Anyway, you’ve been sharing lots of savoury and comforting recipes, including Italian-related, this fall. This is not a complain at all – I do love it! And nope, I haven’t tried Ribollita, but I am definitely going to to this now!

    1. So I’m gonna say that Ouija boards are definitely NOT a must-have gift. Haha. However, this soup? It’s a must-have gift. If you’re offering to make another batch for me, then I’ll gladly take it – just don’t add any lavender, ok? 🙂

  2. Hard pass on Ouija boards for me. I don’t really believe they work, but they’re creepy all the same.

    We love Ribollita in this house and your version looks amazing, David! Definitely going to give your recipe a try.

  3. i love that word – trencher. we still occasionally say you’re a good trencherwoman or man for someone who eats very heartily! eek i read your scary story. yes i think i have seen weird figures here and there. creepy stuff. love the look of your thick italian stew here. delish.

    1. Ah! That’s a new word to me – trencherman or trencherwoman. I like it! I’ll have to work that into a conversation sometime soon. 🙂 This stew is delicious for sure – maybe save it for about 6 months when it gets chilly there again!

  4. 5 stars
    David, we must be around the corner because our fall is fading and snowflakes have been seen flying. So, this is a perfect soup any night, but especially these frosty nights we’re having now.
    Actually Ribollita is a favorite in our house as a winter stew but made a bit different. I like your use of the kale and chard. I usually just use savoy cabbage, so your Ribollita will be a nice change.
    I’m thinking it’s a safe bet that you didn’t watch the 2016 movie, “Ouija: Origin of Evil”. If you did, I’m sorry. If you haven’t, don’t watch it…

    1. Umph – fall is fading here, but we haven’t seen the snowflakes yet. I’m sure they are coming though. This soup is perfect for cold nights though – easy to make and packed with flavor! I have seen versions of this soup made with Savoy cabbage. I think either would work well, though. In general, I’m not a kale fan – but in soup? It works!

      Also, I will be taking a hard pass on that movie. I didn’t see it, and I don’t plan on it. Thanks for the heads up, though!

  5. Loaded Bowl looks totally tempting! love the flavors from the vegetables-greens , and the chunkiness from the bread. Perfect with some warm bread, Thanks for the recipe, have a great night!

    1. You are totally right, Aarthi – this soup is amazing with extra bread! I like taking loaves of chewy Italian bread and just tearing them into hunks for serving with soups like this. Yum! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    We are getting cooler weather around here by the day and a big bowl of this stew is definitely in order. With a big hunk of bread and this, I’m set (and quite happy, may I add 😉 ). I still can’t believe Halloween is next weekend! Cray how fast the year is flying by!

    1. We’ve actually had a nice spell of warmer weather here for the past week(ish), but I see the forecast is calling for the temps to drop pretty quickly. Definitely soup and stew season! Also, I agree with you about the year flying by. I think I keep just waiting for the epidemic to be over, but in the meantime the months are flying by. Either way, stay safe and enjoy some good comfort food this weekend, my friend!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve never made this soup, David, but I’ve tasted Ribollita – it’s so tasty! Thanks for the recipe – since it’s suddenly near freezing here, this recipe will likely be on. my table soon!

    1. That first freezing night is always a shock, isn’t it? But it always means that a good bowl of soup tastes even better! Stay warm, my friend!

  8. Ah, David, one of my very favorite soups! Great way to use up stale bread but it’s also delicious.

    And by the way, I was reading about Ouija boards the other day. Can’t remember where or why, but I do remember learning something the new, that the name is the combination of the French and German words for yes “oui” and “ja”. That was staring me in the face for years but I never put 2 and 2 together. But then I haven’t play Ouija since I was a kid. And yes, I agree, it is kind of creepy!

    1. I suspected you would be all over the Ribollita, Frank! It really is a tasty soup – I’m planning to make another batch this week.

      Interesting note about the origin of Ouija – I mean it makes sense. Such a simplistic name when you realize the background! I’ve never truly played with a Ouija board, and I don’t have much interest in it. I like creepy and spooky things, but that one pushes the limits a bit. I’ll just stick to the soup instead! 🙂

    1. I’m with ya, Kathy – I’ll just stick to the soup instead! I do enjoy spooky and creepy, but Ouija boards push the limits a bit. I hear ya on the cold weather – it’s here, too, and that means it’s soup season!

    1. This is one heck of a tasty soup, Nicole! I highly recommend it. Stay warm, my friend – they’re calling for a bit of snow (!) here on Friday. Umph.

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