Ribollita is a famous soup from the Tuscany region of Italy and, depending on who’s serving it to you, the ingredients might differ slightly. Like minestrone, it’s made with lots of vegetables and beans, but what sets it apart is the addition of leftover bread. This sounds weird, but it’s rich and thick and amazingly good — and it’s a great way to use up an old loaf! 

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Hands-on time: 30   |    Total time: 120   |    Makes: 12 Cups


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring spoons
Measuring cup
Large heavy-bottomed pot 
Wooden spoon or heatproof spatula
Pot holders 


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 unit large onion, peeled and chopped
3 unit carrots, scrubbed or peeled, chopped or diced
1 unit turnip, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 unit garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 unit bunch kale, chopped
2 cup (or one 15-ounce can) cooked white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 unit (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, including the liquid
8 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1⁄2 load day-old Italian or French bread, cut into cubes
unit chopped fresh basil leaves
unit freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.

  1. Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When it is hot, carefully add the oil. 
  2. Add the onion, carrots, turnip, celery, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and stir well. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. 
  3. Add the kale, beans, tomatoes, and broth. Turn the heat down to low and cook, partially covered, for 45 minutes. 
  4. Carefully take the pot off the stove. Add the bread cubes and using the spoon, push down until they are completely immersed in the soup. Allow the soup to sit off the heat for 1 hour.
  5. Now taste the soup. Does it need anything to boost the flavor? A squeeze of lemon juice? A grinding of black pepper? A pinch of salt? Add whatever you think it needs, reheat briefly, and serve right away (or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days).
  6. Garnish with chopped basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese, and serve right away.