Make Ahead

Italian Bread Soup...Ribollita

May 14, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes about 7 quarts and serves a crowd
Author Notes

This is an Italian peasant soup traditionally made with only vegetables and stale bread. I added ground turkey but it certainly isn't necessary....I've heard that if a wooden spoon can stand straight up in the pot, the soup is done. It gets better after a day or two so if you're not serving the masses you'll have plenty of leftovers —inpatskitchen

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey (optional)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots cut in thirds
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 strips bacon, cut in thirds
  • 1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes
  • 1 12 ounce can tomato juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 14 to 15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 14 to 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 5 cups chopped cabbage
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup small, dry pasta
  • 4 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  1. In at least an 8 quart soup pot, brown the ground turkey in the olive oil if using. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  2. Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and bacon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is a little finer than a dice.
  3. Place the mixture in the soup pot and saute until the mixture softens a bit. ( If you aren't using ground turkey, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil here for the saute )
  4. Add the turkey, salt, black pepper, red pepper, fennel seed, oregano and basil to the pot. Stir and add the tomatoes and tomato juice.
  5. Add the broth and water, bring the mixture up to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cabbage, chick peas and cannellini beans and simmer another 10 minutes.
  7. Add the pasta and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  8. Tear the bread in pieces and add along with the spinach leaves. Simmer until the spinach wilts. Re-season with salt and pepper if needed.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • lapadia
  • wssmom
  • inpatskitchen

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

10 Reviews

boulangere September 18, 2015
Oh yes.
inpatskitchen September 18, 2015
Thanks so much Cynthia!
boulangere September 18, 2015
Pat, have you read any of Marlena de Blasi's books? If not, you would likely love them. Her cooking is right up your, and my, alley. And, oh my, can she tell a story.
inpatskitchen September 19, 2015
I haven't Cynthia ,but after doing a quick search, I think I might just have to.
lapadia March 5, 2013
Beautiful soup!
inpatskitchen March 5, 2013
Thanks lapadia! We eat for a week on this one!
wssmom May 15, 2011
With a week of unsettled weather coming up, this sounds like just the thing! Thanks!
inpatskitchen May 15, 2011
Thanks wssmom! After a few days in the high's cold and rainy here this week..comfort food for us!
boulangere May 14, 2011
Ahhh. One of my favorite soups.
inpatskitchen May 15, 2011
I know...can't go wrong with this one!