Zuppa di ribollita

Zuppa di ribollita

Green Kitchen Travels

This rustic bread and bean soup sums up the things I love about the Italian way of cooking. Even if many Italians themselves are very fashionable, with high heels, sunglasses and expensive clothes, their cooking is the opposite; simple, rustic and down to earth. They don’t need any fancy accessories to cook up the most delicious and beautiful meals. A few good-quality vegetables, fresh herbs and beans are quickly turned into a warm and comforting soup. In Tuscany it is common to add some day-old bread and a few slices of Parmesan to it, but if you are vegan or gluten intolerant they can be left out. — David


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
pinch dried chilli flakes
10 sage leaves
a handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 tomato, diced
1 courgette, halved lengthwise and sliced
300g cavolo nero
or 300g savoy cabbage
100g dried cannellini beans, soaked and cooked
1 litre vegetable stock
or 1 litre water
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
4 slices wholegrain sourdough bread, cubed
a piece parmesan cheese, shaved


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, chilli and sage and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the parsley, tomato and courgette and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the cavolo nero and beans and cover with stock or water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste. The soup should be the consistency of a thick stew with a little broth. Serve in bowls and arrange bread cubes, shaved Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil over each.
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