Winter Ribollita

14 Dec


With all the rain and cold we’ve had lately, I’ve definitely been in the mood for soups. I’ve also been canning and freezing them for Christmas gifts, which adds significantly to the soup-creation workload. Today I made a soup that my mother sent me the recipe for, that neither of us had ever tried. It’s absolutely fantastic, chock full of vegetables, and very similar to minestrone. A friend described it as “minestrone, but better.”

You start by cooking a bit of pancetta (I used bacon), and then adding olive oil (or in my case draining off some of the fat).


Add some onions, carrots, celery, and any extra vegetables you want to throw in. I added a cucumber, because I had one laying around and it sounded good. Saute until soft, 8-10 minutes, then add some garlic, salt, and pepper.


Cook the garlic for 2 minutes, add in some tomato paste for some good depth of flavor, and stir it around and cook for another minute or two.


Now you add a can of diced tomatoes and juice, a few cans of beans (one of them pureed, which does a nice job thickening the soup), oregano, bay leaves (always bay leaves in soup!), red pepper flakes, and a parmesan rind.


Stir well until everything is combined, and add some chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, and add in shredded cabbage and chard leaves. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.


The original recipe (which I’ll link at the bottom) has you ladle the finished soup into bowls with stale bread chunks in it, but I like the soup an awful lot just as it is. Finish with parmesan cheese, and a little drizzle of good olive oil if you like. Enjoy!


Winter Ribollita
adapted from

Servings: 8


  • 4 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 to 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • — Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can chopped or diced whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 3 cans cannellini beans (1 can pureed with liquid, 2 cans drained and rinsed)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 ounce Parmesan rind
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups packed chopped savoy cabbage
  • 3 cups packed chopped chard leaves
  • — Parmesan cheese, for grating

Instructions: In a large, heavy bottomed stock pot, cook bacon over medium heat until slightly crisped and the fat has rendered, about 4 minutes. Drain off most of the fat, then add the onion, carrots, cucumber and celery. Saute until vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.Add garlic, and season vegetables with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add tomato paste and stir well to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes more.Add chopped tomatoes and their juices, cannellini puree and whole beans, dried oregano, bay leaves, red pepper flakes and parmesan rind. Stir well until everything is combined. Cover with 4 cups chicken broth and add one cup of water to the pot.Bring to a boil, stir in the cabbage and chard leaves, and simmer soup for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When serving, finish with grated parmesan and a drizzle of good olive oil.

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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Healthy, Soup


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