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Tesseract 06-09-2006 04:01 PM


Category: Soups

Suitable for a: vegan diet



8 cups water

1/2 cup olive oil

2 carrots, peeled or scrubbed and coarsely chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 yellow onions, chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled or not, cut in bite-size chunks

2 zucchini, coarsely chopped

Several fresh, seeded roma tomatoes (or a can of whole tomatoes, without juice), chopped in bite-size chunks

1 small bunch of kale, tough center stalks removed, cut into strips (or your favorite hearty green will do fine)

1/2 small head of Savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped (regular cabbage will do, but crinkly Savoy gives a more interesting texture)

1 bunch fresh spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped

3 cups (or 2 15-oz cans) cooked white beans

Leaves from 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs

Salt and pepper

Liquid smoke

Your favorite coarse, rustic bread, preferably stale, toasted if you like



In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions, potato, and zucchini and saute until softened, 10-15 minutes.

Add the water. Stir in the tomatoes. Add the kale, spinach and cabbage, and stir in. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until green are tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook 10 more minutes. Add the thyme and season to taste with salt, pepper, and liquid smoke.

To serve, tear the bread into chunks and add it to the soup.

Additional comments:


"Tuscan cuisine is famous for giving new life to leftovers. This dish is a perfect example. An icon of Tuscan cuisine, ribollita literally means 'reboiled'. It's difficult to find an authentic ribolitta because it takes three days to prepare. Minestrone is made the first day and eaten as is. The second day the leftover soup is layered with thin slices of bread (or toasted bread rubbed with garlic) and baked with thin slices of red onion on top. The third day the leftovers are reboiled."

(description-- but not recipe-- borrowed from

(Note: this is definitely not an authentic ribollita, as it only takes an hour to make.)

I cannot get over how good this soup is. It's a perfect example of fresh ingredients coming together in a simple way to create something truly delicious and nutritious. Ribollita is a great way to eat kale if you're not a kale fan. It's also a great way to get lots of veggies at once if you have trouble getting your veggie servings. It feels light to eat, but it's very hearty and filling, even if you eat it without the bread.

PS: I made it last week with 1/4 cup of olive oil instead of the 1/2 cup called for, and there is no noticeable difference in yumminess, so that's how I always make it now.

Tesseract 06-11-2006 08:21 AM

I plugged this recipe into, and here's the breakdown for 1/10 of a recipe. It's defiitely not low-fat if you make it with all the olive oil, but it can be as low-fat and/or low-sodium as you want it to be. Fat/sodium content aside, it's a nutritional powerhouse!

Calories 277

Total fat 12 g

Sat fat 1.6 g

Monu-un fat 7.9 g

Poly-un fat 1.5 g

Cholesterol 0

Sodium 500 mg (depends how much you add)

Total Carb 37 g

Fiber 9 g

Sugar 4 g

Protein 10.3 g

Vit A 244%

Vit C 88%

Vit E 15%

Thiamin 16%

Riboflavin 14%

Niacin 8%

Folate 46%

Pantothenic Acid 6%

Vit K 557%

Calcium 20%

Iron 30%

Magnesium 32%

Phosphorus 19%

Potassium 34%

Zinc 12%

Manganese 67%

Selenium 4%

nigel 06-11-2006 01:08 PM

Originally Posted by Tesseract View Post

I plugged this recipe into, ...

Cool site, Tesseract! Thanks for posting it.

Sunny 06-13-2006 10:30 AM

I love Italian soup, so I had to make this. Its very flavorful - yum.

I omitted the celery and liquid smoke (I dont like-y). I also added a few cloves of garlic because, IMO, everything is better (well, just about) with garlic!

Here's the finished product:

Tesseract 06-13-2006 02:26 PM

Your broth looks much more tomato-ey than mine. Mine is a pale colored, almost clear, broth with lots of dark greens and bits of tomato floating in it. (The liquid smoke is my own special touch. It wasn't in the recipe that I learned, but the guy who taught it to me used smoked tomatoes, and I loved the flavor they added, so...)

Sunny 06-13-2006 03:16 PM

Mine's more tomato-ey because I used a can of whole plum tomatoes with their juices. I like flavor that the juice adds. I probably didn't use as many greens as you did either, because the pot was already overflowing with all the other great veggies. Next time I'll definitely add more - I like the flavor they give to the soup.

Tesseract 07-17-2006 06:27 PM

Mmm, I'm eating the last of my frozen leftovers, and I really think this stuff is the perfect food. It's soothing and mild flavored and easy to eat when you're feeling crummy (which I am today), and it's also hearty and nutritious enough to make a complete meal all by itself. It freezes fine, too. The potatoes can start to fall apart a little and the zucchini gets a tad mushy, but other than that, it comes out fine.

Sunny 07-25-2006 10:10 AM

Tess, I made this again last night. I make soup all the time, but this soup is my hubby's absolute favorite. While eating it, he was making "mmmmm...mmmm" noises and told me "you've outdone yourself". Thanks again for posting this!

Tesseract 03-03-2007 02:34 PM

These days when I make it, I always leave out the celery (because I can't be bothered to buy a head of celery just for a couple of stalks) and the spinach (because it has enough greens to suit me already, and I eat spinach in so many other things it's not like I need it), and it still comes out great. I've also decided I like stirring in a spoonful of vegetable bouillon concentrate for a little extra richness. Did I mention a dash of hot sauce gives it a nice extra dimension too?

IamJen 03-03-2007 04:35 PM

Hey there! Long time no see.

Tesseract 03-04-2007 09:37 AM

Hey Jen! Looking good, girl! That's a cute picture of you. I just dropped by to update that, because I referred someone on another forum to the recipe.

virgo 03-04-2007 10:05 PM

hey tess, this is a great soup .you have given me so many recipes i fall back on keep it up.i use your tuscan refried bean all the time.

Sunny 03-05-2007 12:52 PM

Me too. Love that stuff!

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