Ribollita is a thick Tuscan stew - dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, thickened with day-old bread. It is hearty, filling and infinitely nourishing.


Extra virgin olive oil

4 celery stalks, chopped

3 garlic cloves chopped

2 carrots chopped

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 tin chopped Italian tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon crushed chili flakes

1 packet kale or spinach

2 tins cooked white beans (Cannellini beans or any cooked beans in your pantry)

Half loaf of ciabatta bread

Sea salt and pepper 1 lemon zest

A generous handful of chopped black olives


In your largest thick-bottomed pot over medium heat combine the olive oil, celery, garlic, carrot, and red onion. Cook for 10 -15 minutes sweating the vegetables but avoid any browning. Stir in the tomatoes and chili flakes, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so, long enough for the tomatoes to thicken up a bit.

Stir in the kale/spinach along with 3 cups of the beans, 2 litres water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the greens are tender, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, mash or puree the remaining beans with a generous splash of water - until smooth. Tear the bread into bite-sized chunks. Stir both the beans, black olives and bread into the soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bread breaks down and the soup thickens, 20 minutes or so. Stir in the salt, pepper and taste and add more if needed. Stir in the lemon zest and serve with a drizzle of olive oil.