This is a classic Italian soup from Tuscany. Ribollita literally means “reboiled” and uses up stale bread and any other bits of veg you care to include. Traditionally it uses cavolo nero, a very dark green type of cabbage, but kale or spring greens are similar. 

We use extra virgin olive oil here for the taste; if you don’t have it, use just 1 tbsp veg oil for frying as it has no taste anyway.  If you swap the bread for small pasta shapes, you have minestrone!

You will need: one large pot with a lid

3 Tbs (45ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 small or half a large onion

1½ sticks celery (approx 80g)

1 medium carrot (approx 80g)

½ can chopped tomatoes

2 large cloves garlic

1 vegetable stock cube

60g kale, spring greens or cavolo nero

½ can white beans (cannellini or similar)

25 g stale bread (that’s about ½ slice) – or – small pasta shapes.

Black pepper to taste

Optional extras (can be swapped for some or all of the carrot/celery if desired):

red or green pepper,

stems of broccoli or cabbage,


  • Finely dice your onion and start gently frying it in the olive oil.
  • Finely dice your celery and add it to the onion
  • Finely dice your carrots and add it to fry too
  • If adding any other vegetables, chop them finely too and add them.
  • Add in the ½ can of tomatoes, garlic, stock cube and 3/4 can of water
  • Wash and chop up your kale or spring greens into shreds and add it in.
  • Drain the ½ can of white beans, rinse and add in. Check there’s enough water to just cover all the veg (the kale will sog down into the soup as it cooks) but not too much that it’s all watery.
  • Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes until all the veg are soft, particularly the kale stems.
  • If you are adding small pasta shapes add them about 10 minutes before the end.
  • Cut or break the bread into 1-2cm chunks and stir it in. When it’s absorbed the liquid, add more water if you feel it needs more, bring to the boil again, season with black pepper, and serve.
  • This soup freezes well so make double quantities and freeze some!

Serves: 2 as a main meal

Calories per person : 355