I used to LOVE making this hearty soup full of veggies, beans, and bread but when I went gluten-free, I forgot all about it! It's been years since I made it but last weekend, I opened up my produce box from Mother Earth Food, and a beautiful bunch of Lacinato Kale (aka Tuscan Kale) triggered my memory and inspired this recipe.
Ribollita means "cooked twice" (you'll see why) and was originally an Italian peasant soup. I love this recipe because of its versatility, ease, and fast-cooking time. It can be vegan or not, gluten-free, or not ~ I give options in the notes. Initially I was concerned that gluten-free bread just wouldn't be as good but I actually couldn't even tell. My final meal was flavorful with perfect texture.
Tuscan Ribollita Soup Recipe
(6-8 servings, 20 minutes)
1 large carrot, diced
1 large celery stalk, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil + another 1/2 cup (divided)
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
28 oz of canned diced tomatoes
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or other white bean)
1/2 bunch of lacinato kale, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
6 cups broth
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tablespoons of Maple syrup (optional)
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
6-8 slices of bread
Add carrot, celery, onion, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until carrots are al dente, 6 to 8 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, beans, broth, kale, Italian seasoning, red pepper (if using), maple syrup (*see note), salt, and pepper. Raise heat back to medium and cook another 8-10 minutes, until simmering, then turn off the burner.
When ready to serve, either use old bread or double-toast your fresh bread slices (1 slice per serving).
In a new pot, break the slices up into small bits and add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the pot for each piece. Sauté the bread in oil over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, then add the already-made soup to the pot. The amount will vary, depending on how many you are serving.
Cook the soup and bread together over medium-heat, while you stir and break up any large remaining pieces of bread. We want the bread to become part of the soup itself.
Ladle into individual bowls and top with parmesan.
Gluten-free or regular bread both work well in this recipe.
The maple syrup is optional because the acidity in canned tomatoes can vary greatly. I often find that tomato based recipes can usually use a bit of sweetness to balance this out. As always, taste and adjust.
Make this soup vegan by using vegetable broth and substituting vegan parmesan, or skip it all together. It's delicious either way. You could also sprinkle hemp hearts or nutritional yeast on top to garnish.
If you are a meat-eater, this is a great opportunity to use bone broth for an extra healthy boost. I use fresh beans made from the crockpot, almost always. They are simple to make and taste so much better to me, BUT you could easily substitute canned beans.