Tuscan bread soup also called ribollita is a hardy vegetarian soup thickened by day old bread, sweet tomatoes and finished with a bright basil oil and a good grate of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Tuscan Bread Soup also called Ribollita
Tuscan bread soup is the answer to an easy and delicious weeknight dinner. A rustic peasant soup originating in Tuscany, this recipe uses day old bread and pantry staples to create a flavorful and robust stew.
And my little twist...basil oil! The fresh bright herbaceous oil garnishes the soup and lifting all those warm flavors. I promise you, this will be your new favorite fall soup.
Tuscan Bread Soup with Beans
I took a bit of a spin off the authentic recipe and used what I had on hand, though variations are highly encouraged. What I love so much a about this bread soup recipe, is that it is so versatile that as long as you have the base, it will certainly come out fantastic.
Olive Oil: Used to saute the vegetables as well as a finishing garnish.
Leeks and Garlic: If you don't have leeks, shallots, sweet or red onions would work well.
Carrots and Celery: A base for any soup.
Tomato Paste: Gives another layer of tomato flavor and a bit of sweetness. I love using the tomato paste that comes in a tube.
Fresh Herbs: A few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme, pulled away from the stems and chopped finely.
Diced Tomatoes: 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes is used though 4 cups of diced fresh tomatoes would work well too (be sure to keep all their juices).
White Beans: 1 can each of Northern white beans and cannellini beans give the soup creaminess and texture.
Parm Rind: My (not so) secret ingredient that I add to all my soups and sauces. I always save the rinds for moments like this and add a good chunk right in the soup.
Dry Bread Cubes: Day old bread is ideal but if you don't have stale bread, bake bread cubes in the oven until completely dry and hard. The stale bread will give the soup great texture and body.
Basil Oil: Fresh basil leaves and olive oil are blended together and drizzled on top of the soup as a garnish, giving the warm soup a bit of brightness.
Fall and Winter Soups
Here are a few other soups to try for the fall and winter season.
Tuscan Bread Soup with Basil Oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for garnish
- 1 medium-large leek cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk sliced thinly
- 2 medium-large carrots peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes
- 2-3 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 2 stalks of fresh rosemary leaves removed and chopped finely
- 3-4 stems of fresh thyme leaves removed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 15 ounce can of cannellini beans
- 15 ounce can of Great Northern beans
- 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Parmesan rind
- 2 cups dry/stale cubed bread save some for topping
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Small bunch of fresh basil leaves
- Drizzle olive oil in a medium sized soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks, celery and carrots and saute for 8-10 minutes until the carrots and leeks begin to soften.
- Add garlic and herbs and saute for another minute.
- Add tomato paste and saute everything together for another minute, then pour in beans and diced tomatoes and give everything one good stir. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in stock and add bay leaves and Parmesan rind and simmer for 20 minutes so the flavors blend.
- Add most of the cubed bread (save some for garnish), gently pressing the bread down into the soup and simmer for another 15 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, make the basil oil by blending together the basil and olive oil in a food processor or blender and set aside once done.
- Once the soup is done, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a few extra cubes of bread, drizzle of olive oil, dollops of basil oil and red pepper flakes.