Ribollita – Tuscan White Bean Soup

If you hate to waste stale bread, this ribollita recipe is for you! It's a delicious vegetarian Tuscan white bean soup thickened with cubes of bread.

Tuscan white bean soup

This Tuscan white bean soup recipe grew out of Jack’s new weekend hobby: bread-making. Over the last few weeks, he’s made some really delicious focaccia and a few loaves of ciabatta which, I have to tell you, were super impressive. I previously had this idea that rustic crusty bread would require wood-fired ovens and other non-household equipment to make. It doesn’t. The ingredients are simple, but it does require an afternoon’s worth of babysitting. Knead, fold, wait, rest… repeat… like 15 more times.

After all of this hard work, when the last chunk of ciabatta went stale a few days later, I couldn’t bear to toss it. While I commonly talk about my cooking inspiration coming from what I find at the farmer’s market, there are times like this where the ideas come from not wanting to waste ingredients that someone made (or grew) with love.

The bread was way too hard for panzanella, so that was out. Luckily, there’s a soup that loves rock-hard stale bread – ribollita.

Tuscan bean soup ingredients

Tuscan White Bean Soup Recipe Ingredients

Ribollita is a Tuscan white bean soup made from leftover vegetables and thickened with day-old (or in our case many days old) bread. My version starts with a base of onion, carrots, tomatoes, white beans, rosemary, and kale. I cube up the leftover bread and stir it in towards the end, making a thick and hearty Tuscan bean soup – perfect for a cold autumn night.

Sliced stale bread and kale for ribollita

Tuscan Bean Soup Tips

  • Use what’s in your pantry. Tuscan white bean soup is one of my favorite pantry recipes, so use what you have on hand. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, swap in 1 cup canned diced tomatoes. No fresh rosemary? Use dried, or simmer the soup with a sprig of fresh thyme. If you don’t have any kale, skip it, or add whatever leafy greens you do have. Swap canned beans for cooked dried ones, or for extra umami flavor, simmer the soup with a Parmesan rind. This recipe is flexible, so you really can’t go wrong here.
  • Make the bread from scratch. If you want to make this Tuscan soup from scratch, bread and all, I recommend using this no-knead bread recipe. Even if you’re a novice bread baker, it comes out delicious, with a golden crust and soft interior that are irresistible on the first day and perfect for this soup once they’ve gone stale.
  • Leftovers taste great. This ribollita recipe makes about three large servings, but next time, I will definitely double it. The leftovers were delicious for lunch the next day, and I only wished I had more!

Pot of Tuscan white bean soup

More Favorite Soup Recipes

If you love this Tuscan white bean soup, try one of these delicious soup recipes next:

Or find 25 of my favorite soup recipes here!

4.9 from 18 reviews

Ribollita - Tuscan White Bean Soup

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This easy Tuscan soup recipe is flexible. I love the combination listed below, but feel free to use whatever vegetables, greens, or herbs you have on hand! See the post above for suggestions.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2-3
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium Roma or vine tomatoes, diced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1½ cups cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 large lacinato kale leaves, thinly sliced, coarse stems removed
  • 4 thick slices stale ciabatta bread, cubed
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese, optional
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pinches of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, rosemary, and garlic. Cook for about 4 more minutes, reducing the heat if necessary to avoid burning the garlic.
  2. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and another few pinches of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and juicy. Add the wine and let it cook off, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the beans, and then add the vegetable broth. Simmer until the carrots are tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once the carrots are tender, stir in the kale, the cubed bread, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Simmer for several more minutes until the kale is wilted.
  5. Season to taste and serve hot in large bowls. Shave fresh Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.
Double this recipe to make a larger batch. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to two days.

Fresh tomatoes can be substituted for about 1 cup of canned diced tomatoes.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Caroline from carolinesfeast.com

    Oh wow I just discovered your blog and I am so excited! It is definitely going to become one of my regulars, I can tell. And this soup is exactly what I am in the mood for, and I even have most of the ingredients on hand. I am definitely going to be making this tonight… Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Rad from thesnobbyfoodie.com

    OMG. I love the use of white beans in fall soups. This is great! So excited to try it!


    did you try running that good bread under water and then heating it in the over or toasting it? i find this actually works with good homemade bread. it has been my experience that it comes back to life. don’t hold it under for long, but i’m surprised how wet it can get and rehydrate and make for delicious bread again. i run it through running water – both sides. thanks for all your good recipes.

  4. Kelley from vegetarianpdx.com

    I have great ambitions of baking bread this winter, after (quite) a few years off. I think it’s all the Great British Bake Off I’ve been watching. And soup…this looks amazing.

  5. Diane

    I have been tweaking gluten free bread recipes and have come up with one that is absolutely delicious and lasts easily for a week! I think the addition of a healthy tablespoon of sour cream and three Tablespoons of cooked squash (hubbard/sweet meat/butternut varieties) makes the bread moist, soft and keeps it fresh. It needs to bake a tad bit longer than the original recipe. I have been freezing squash (after placing it in ice cube trays to make individual ‘chunks’) so I will have it for many months. I also love the addition of chia seeds and ground flax seeds. My recipe makes two loaves.

  6. Charlie from lemonbutterlove.com

    I’m the same way, I hate throwing away food! Especially something that is homemade. This soup recipe looks delicious and just in time for the chilly weather. I can’t wait to make this soon! Could you share your focaccia and ciabatta bread recipes? – Charlie, http://www.lemonbutterlove.com

  7. Nothing more resourceful or satisfying than homemade soup and using up leftover homemade bread in the soup. Reminds me of Everlasting Meals. 🙂 Love ribollita but rarely make it. Must change that, thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Allyson from consideringtheradish.wordpress.com

    I love ribollita- it’s delicious and a perfect way to use up odds and ends. I love recipes like that, where you can clean up the remains of other projects in one fell swoop. It’s cost efficient, tasty, and nutritious, and you get to feel good about yourself while eating good food. What’s not to love?

  9. Mary from marydevinat.com

    This vegetable soup looks absolutely delicious ! I will try it very soon 🙂

  10. Kristin

    I’ve made yeast breads many times, but never yeast rolls until this past weekend. I put them in a round cake pan as per the directions and they looked beautiful. But when I baked them they all molded together and came out as one giant roll. More like a cake layer. We sliced it up just like a cake and they tasted great, but not exactly what I was going for. Guess the rolls were too big for the pan size. Oh well…live and learn! Maybe I’ll make some of this soup with the leftovers!! 🙂

  11. Kayley

    I make this soup all the time! For more added vegetable goodness, I throw in chopped parsnips and celery root. It’s so perfect on a cool Fall day!

  12. Tori from gringalicious.com

    I’ve never heard of this soup until now but I can see I’ve been missing out all this time. Definitely something new I need to try!

  13. Kristina from ohthegoodies.com

    I love bean soups, they are so comforting and filling. This one looks delicious!

  14. I’m actually a bit sick right now and this seems like something I can make pretty easily. Looks delicious! x

  15. Jane from thefastmetabolismdietcommunity.com

    The soup looks delicious. I would love to prepare it for dinner. It’s nice to have some soup especially during cold nights.

    • Courtney Green

      Made this for dinner tonight; it was so delicious. After her second helping, my eight year-old daughter announced, “I love kale!” Whew-who!!

  16. William Dix

    The only bread baking advice I have is buy “Flour Water Salt and Yeast”, I bake at home almost weekly and it is my constant companion

    • Deb from LoveandLemons

      When you say full fat coconut milk …does that come in a carton or a can? I buy Almond Milk in a carton. Same thing or no?
      Love your site BTW. 🙂

    • Angela

      Ditto on Flour Water Salt Yeast. I’ve been making artisan sourdough at home weekly and just can’t get enough of the chewy delicious homemade bread.

      • Kathy

        This is really funny, I just received this book for Christmas and I love it. I have some dough rising at the moment that will turn into a nice crusty loaf of bread to go along with this yummy soup. Get the book, you will be very happy with it.

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Thanks, I’ll check it out! I hope you enjoy the soup 🙂

    • This dish looks so hearty. I grew up with lots of these types of soups. I always crave them when I see them. Great food blog!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.