Ribollita – Tuscan Bread and Vegetable Soup



Some people accuse me of posting recipes on the blog when I have nothing to say. Anyone who has ever met me knows that I rarely have nothing to say. Sometimes I have too much to say and posting a recipe is keeping me quite, thoughtful and reflective for another 24 hours.


Today is the perfect soup day. It is cold, dark and a good time to be reflective. The best part about Ribollita is that it too is reflective, changing from one day to the next.


2 cups lima beans

2 cups of fresh Dixie peas (or field peas, or black eyed peas) – You can use any white beans to make up the Lima and field peas.

5 slices of thick cut bacon cut into ¼ inch pieces

2 c. chopped onions

5 chopped carrots

3 stalks of celery chopped

6 cloves of garlic – grated on the micro plane

1 quart of chicken stock

5 big handfuls of chopped kale

30 basil leaves chopped- I use a ¼ cup of my frozen basil

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Black pepper

An old baguette cubed into bite-sized pieces

Parmesan Cheese


Put Lima beans in a sauce pan with 3 cups of water and cook them until they are tender, about 15 mins. Do the same for the Dixie or field peas in a separate pan, but they may take a little longer. When those beans and peas are finished cooking take them off the heat but do not discard the water add a big pinch of salt to both pans now.


In a big stockpot put the bacon and cook for five minutes until the fat starts to render. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and continue cooking for five more minutes. Grate the garlic over the pot and cook for one more minute. Add the Chicken stock and the kale and cook for ten more minutes after the whole thing had come to a boil.


Add the basil and lots of black pepper and a few red pepper flakes.


Take half the cooked beans and peas out of the water and puree them with a hand blender. Add the puree to the pot and then add the remaining whole beans and peas. The mixture will be very thick. Thin it out using the bean and pea cooking water. Add as much bread as you like knowing that it will soak up the liquid so you may need to add more bean/pea liquid. Cook for ten more minutes.


Serve with a big heaping spoonful of Parmesan Cheese over the top.

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