This healthy and delicious Classic Italian Ribollita White Bean Soup Recipe is packed full of flavor and is a delicious soup to enjoy during the fall and winter months. Using simple ingredients found at your grocery store, you can create a tasty and satisfying meal that will have dinner on your table in less than an hour!
When you want Italian food that is hearty and delicious, look no further than this super tasty and nutritious white bean soup. The soup originates from the hilltop villages of Tuscany and, during the Middle Ages, hungry hard-working peasants would serve their wealthy landowners bread and meat, all the while taking the crusts, crumbs, and any bits of leftover meat that they could get their hands on. They added the leftovers to their own stews and soups at home to form Ribollita as it’s known today.
Far from a peasant dinner these days, this soup is filling and comforting, and is one the whole family is going to love. It is easily customizable to what you have on hand and by adding a few ingredients it can be a meal in itself. It is the perfect midweek meal to rustle up when you need a satisfying lunch or dinner that can be on the table in less than an hour. How great is that?
Ingredients for an Authentic Ribollita Recipe
These ingredients are what you would traditionally find in a Ribollita that is made all over the world. They are easily accessible, some of which will likely already be in your refrigerator or pantry.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Ground black pepper
- Tomato paste
- Diced tomatoes
- Fresh spinach
- Cannellini beans
- Herbs De Provence
- Chicken broth
- Bay leaf
- Parmesan rind and parmesan cheese
- Ciabatta roll (optional)
See the recipe card for quantities.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large pot and then add your onion, carrot, pancetta, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
Cook until the onion is golden brown and the pancetta is nice and crisp. This should take around 7 minutes.
Add your tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Then add your can of diced tomatoes. As you stir, scrape the bottom of the pot.
Once combined, then add your spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and parmesan rind. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes until the soup becomes a flavorful broth.
Top the finished soup with some grated parmesan to serve and enjoy your delicious homemade white bean soup.
Hint: When you add the can of diced tomatoes, use a spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. Those brown and crispy bits are full of flavor and will really elevate the soup.
- Gluten-free - You can make this gluten-free by using gluten-free bread or omitting the bread altogether.
- Vegetarian - You can easily make this a vegetarian dish by omitting the pancetta. You could add a little bit of paprika to get that smokey flavor, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
- Pancetta - You could substitute the pancetta with thick sliced bacon.
- Cheese - Buy a block of parmesan cheese for this recipe and use the end or rind. Use the rest of the cheese to grate on top of the soup. I save my rinds throughout the year to use in soups. Typically I freeze them and do not throw them away. If you can't find Parmesan, pecorino or romano works just as well.
- Herbs de Provence - you can substitute Italian seasoning if you can't find these herbs.
- Broth - While this recipe calls for a broth, I almost always use a homemade broth and generally a bone broth.
- Spicy - add red pepper flakes to give this Tuscan bean soup an extra kick. You can control how spicy you want to make it.
- Drizzle the top - add a drizzle of olive oil to give it an extra luxurious feel. This could be garlic or chili-infused for extra flavor.
- Kid-friendly - chop the vegetables small so that you make them appealing to your kids, especially the fussy eaters.
- Meat - I love to add meatballs either full-sized or mini meatballs to this soup. It helps to make this wonderful soup a full meal. I have used both ground turkey meatballs, chicken meatballs, and beef meatballs in this recipe. You can also add spicy Italian sausage instead.
- Noodles - When serving a crowd, break up some spaghetti noodles into the soup at the last minute. You can use almost any noodle but spaghetti is my favorite. This will make the soup appear to be closer to a pasta e fagioli soup.
- Vegetables - I add other vegetables that I have on hand into this soup. For instance, I love adding green beans, broccoli, or even cauliflower florets. If you have a few leftover vegetables in your refrigerator, this is the soup to use them in!
- Serve - serve the soup with hearty bread, or garlic bread, and a salad. You will have a full meal! If you are not gluten-free, see the recipe notes on how to add the ciabatta roll to the base of the soup!
I love soups and if you would like another meal in a bowl, try my Lentil Soup With Sweet Potatoes and Sausage on my website! (placeholder for in-content link)
You need a large soup pot for this recipe. It needs to be large enough to cook all of the ingredients together.
This Tuscan bean soup can also be cooked in a Crock Pot or an Instant Pot.
This soup can be made ahead of time. You can prep the ingredients in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the soup. The soup will last in the refrigerator for up to four days.
This soup will also freeze well. Freeze the soup for up to two months. You can thaw it out and then reheat it on the stove.
If you want a thicker consistency then you can puree a cup of the beans into the soup. You could also add torn pieces of day-old bread to the soup itself. Just make sure you cook the bread a little and this will add a natural thickness to the soup.
Yes. Start with the saute function at the beginning and then once you add the broth and all of the ingredients, switch it to high pressure for 12-15 minutes allowing a natural release of the pressure for a few minutes after.
Yes, it could. You will need to add all of the soup ingredients together. You might want to saute some of them in a frying pan first. Then let it cook for four hours on low or six hours on high.
Beans are high in fiber, which means that this soup is not only healthy but also very filling. The soup will keep you full and the addition of the delicious vegetables adds vitamins and nutrients. A perfectly well-balanced meal that the whole family will love.
The ingredients for an authentic Ribollita are quite humble due to its history of using white beans, leafy greens, and vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery brought together with tomatoes and herbs. The addition of bread makes it traditional and more unique than some other bean soup recipes you may have tried in the past.
I am always looking for a cozy soup to enjoy in the cooler months and this hearty Italian vegetable soup fits the bill. This traditional Italian soup will quickly become one of the easy Italian soup recipes that you make over and over. Buon appetito!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with [this recipe]:
Classic Italian Ribollita White Bean Soup Recipe
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 4 oz pancetta chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 can diced tomatoes 15 oz can
- 1 lb frozen spinach thawed and sqeezed dry
- 1 can cannelloni beans 15 oz, drained
- 1 tablespoon herbs de provence
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 parmesan rind 3 inches
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy stock pot over medium heat.
- Add the onions, carrots, pancetta, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Cook until the onion is golden and the pancetta is crisp, about 7 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and stir until the paste is dissolved.
- Add the tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon to release all of the brown bits.
- Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and parmesan rind.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and parmesan rind before serving.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle the top with grated parmesan cheese before serving. If you would like to serve this with ciabatta toast on the bottom of the bowl.
Lastly, if you make this Italian soup be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!