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California Love – Ribollita

California Love – Ribollita


Adapted from Saveur’s Twice-Cooked Tuscan Bread Soup for their spot on recipe as far as ingredients and textures go.
By Olivia Caminiti

It’s cold outside, it’s cold inside. My new home was built in the 1930’s, you know back when there was no insulation, no central heating, but really cute molding of course! The wintertime calls for soup, and this time I called for Ribollita. Today my kitchen is filled with sage, garlic, hot fruity olive oil, Oh Land on Pandora, and a bowl full of day old bread that is ready to be the centerpiece in tonights dinner for five.

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Ribollita, “reboiled”, is a traditional Tuscan soup made from day old bread, vegetables including cavolo nero, and cannellini beans. Cavolo nero is a Tuscan black cabbage which is the key ingredient. It really makes this soup something of the season during the late fall, early winter months. Being that I live in Austin, this cabbage is not available to us so I use 2 parts purple kale and one part rainbow chard. “Put love into what you have” a Tuscan grandmother always said, so I did.

Adapted from Saveur.

California Love - Ribollita
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Adapted from Saveur's Twice-Cooked Tuscan Bread Soup for their spot on recipe as far as ingredients and textures go.
Recipe Type: Main, Soup
Serves: 10
  • 1 lb. dried cannellini beans
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic
  • ¼ cup fruity olive oil, plus 4 tbsp
  • 4-5 whole black pepper corns
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 3 zucchini, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 large bunch rainbow chard, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 bunches purple kale, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 1 12oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
  • 15 oz of day-old crusty white bread
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, don't be shy
  • olive oil, fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  1. Beans first. Sort beans to remove small damaged ones.
  2. Cover with cool water and let them sit for 4hrs or over night.
  3. Drain water and then add in 12 cups of water, 4 tbsp olive oil, sage, garlic, and pepper corns over beans in a large pot. Put over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer for about 1 hour.
  4. Reserve cooking liquid separate from beans. Put 1 cup whole beans aside and puree the rest with sage, pepper corns and all. Reserve puree.
  5. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in large casserole pot over medium-low heat, add onions and cook till soft, about 20 minutes.
  6. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, potatoes, chard, and kale till combined and greens are wilted.
  7. Add tomatoes, puree, and cooking liquid; combine, cover, and let simmer for about 1 hour till the vegetables are soft.
  8. Add bread and reserve beans, stir gently and cover to soften bread, about 10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper then serve with drizzle of olive oil and fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano on each bowl.
  10. Enjoy & repeat; refrigerate leftovers.
Instead of 2 bunches of purple kale, use cavolo nero and Saveur's suggestion of ½ head of savoy cabbage if available. I used left-over french and vietnamese baguettes from my job for the crusty white bread. I tried to use the equivalent to Saveur's "3 thick slices" but a little extra bread really helps the consistency be to my standards. To reheat the next day, preheat oven to 375*F. Place casserole dish, uncovered, in oven for about 1 hour stirring occasionally for the first 30 minutes and for the last 30 minutes let the soup brown lightly. Serve with same garnishes.
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