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Ribollita – Hearty Vegetable Soup

Ribollita – Hearty Vegetable Soup

I love making warm and hearty vegetable style soups this time of year. Most of the time I just get the leftover veggies from the fridge and throw them into a pot to simmer down into a nourishing symphony of flavours that make me feel warm and revitalised.

What is great about it:

This recipe for Ribollita is from my 80/20 cookbook and what I love about it is that it lasts for days in the fridge once it’s made, so you can enjoy it for lunch or dinner topped with a little pesto or fine grated Grana Padano. I love to use the thick hearty leaves of cavolo nero (Tuscan Cabbage) and sometimes Savoy cabbage like my grandmother used to do. This is the perfect budget friendly recipe to nourish a healthy body.

+ ingredients & methods +

ingredients (4 servings)

1 onion, finely diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 carrot, chopped
2 sticks celery, sliced
800 g ripe tomatoes, chopped
500 g of cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage) see notes
350 g  chopped sweet potato or parsnip – skin on
500 ml water
250 g cooked borlotti beans
100 g baby spinach
1 bunch parsley, chopped
Grana Padano or Parmesan to serve
Pesto to serve (optional)


  1. Sauté onions, garlic, carrot and celery for 3 minutes in a little olive oil until softened.
  2. Wash cavolo nero and roughly chop the leaves. Add them to the vegetables with the sweet potato.
  3. Add tomato and water to just cover then bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat.
  5. Simmer for 30  minutes until thick and stew like.
  6. Add beans and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  7. Fold through parsley and baby spinach.
  8. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and a little sea salt.
  9. Serve in bowls topped with pesto and Grana Padano.
  10. Enjoy.
+ notes & inspiration +

Notes and Inspiration:

  • Sauté 50 g prosciutto  – a salt-cured ham and add to the soup for a flavour boost.
  • Add a pinch of chilli if you want a little heat.
  • Keeps for 3 days in the fridge, can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Curley Kale or Savoy Cabbage can be used in place of cavolo nero.

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