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Perhaps it was in anticipation of hearing Elizabeth Gilbert speak of her tales in Italy (and India and Bali). Or maybe it was because I have been thinking about this soup since I first had it at Kamasouptra in Portland, ME back in January. Or maybe it’s because I subconsciously stand in solidarity with my friends and family in the North who are battling the harshest winter in memory. Whatever the reason, this Tuscan soup has been on my brain for awhile and I finally got it together and made it two nights ago. Although it tastes nothing like the soup I had in Maine, which was so absolutely wonderful, I ate it for lunch two days in a row, like so many of my improvisational adaptations, it tastes delicious in its own right.

Last night, after a day of meetings, I came home in need of pampering. So, I laid out a placemat and poured myself half a glass of vinho verde. As I sat in silence, without hulu.com, without Pandora, and without a book, eating a hot bowl of this soup, one word kept coming to mind–bellissimo.

The Beans:


2 cups water

1 cup vegetable broth

1 small red onion–diced

1 small red bell pepper–diced

8 oz. dry Cannellini or Great Northern Beans–soaked overnight

1/8 cup olive oil

1 heaping tablespoon Goya sofrito

1 heaping tablespoon Goya recaito

1 tablespoon Goya adobo (or favorite seasoned salt)

black pepper


*Heat olive oil in stock pot over medium heat. Add adobo, sofrito, and recaito. Cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until soft (~10 minutes).

*Add soaked, rinsed beans to pot, along with water, broth, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Turn the heat to high to bring contents of the pot to a boil. Then drop heat to medium low. Let simmer for approximately one hour, or until beans are tender. Stir occasionally. Set aside. (This step can be done the day before).

Note: The preparation for the beans is very understated, as I wanted them to soak in all of the wonderful flavors of the final soup.

The Soup:


1/4 cup olive oil (+ oil for finishing)

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried sage

1 small onion–chopped

1 Anaheim pepper–chopped

3 celery stalks–chopped

1 cup carrots–chopped

1 russet potato–cubed

3 cloves garlic–chopped

1 can diced tomatoes (with juice)

3 cups day old bread (baguette or ciabatta)–cut into 1/2 inch cubes OR processed into crumbs [I did cubes…]

4 cups chopped kale

2 cups cooked Cannellini or Great Northern Beans (see recipe above)

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups beer of choice (I used a Winter lager)

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons sugar or agave

1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

salt, black pepper

fresh basil (garnish)

freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)


*Chop all veggies. Heat olive oil over medium low heat in large stock pot. Add celery seed, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, sage, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir. Cook 3-5 minutes to infuse oil with the spices.

*Add chopped onion, peppers, celery, carrots, and potato. Sweat in pan until veggies are barely soft (~15-20 minutes). Add garlic and large pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes.

*Add kale and tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups cooked beans (along with cooking liquid). Stir. Add sugar/agave, water, broth, and beer, along with big pinch of salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Stir. Let simmer on medium low for 30 minutes or until all veggies are soft and kale is cooked.

* Add bread to soup. Stir. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with fresh chopped basil, parmesan (optional), drizzle of raw olive oil, and fresh bread.

Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantraβ€”love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. I love that you just sat and enjoyed this soup in silence. We all need to do that more often!

    • Yeah, there’s something very serene about it! I should do it more often! πŸ˜€

  2. This was my favorite dish that I ate all the time while I was living in Florence! I love adding escarole to my ribollita as well!

  3. This looks so delicious! I love soups with Cannellini’s. Possibly one of my favorites!

  4. I think you have achieved Zen and the Art of Soup! I love Ribollita and you’ve treated it with respect in your lovely version.

  5. That soup must have so much flavor! Sounds delicious :).

  6. I love this soup, it’s one of my favorite dishes, I live in Florence…I know this dish very well…:)

    • I hope it would live up to your expectations!!! πŸ™‚

      • certainly πŸ˜€

  7. A good soup has a restorative calming effect that makes you feel better inside & out. This soup sounds like that perfect soup to be enjoyed home alone tonight!!

  8. Dish looks so good….wonderful job:)

  9. Looks very filling and hearty, that’s what we need in a cold weather. Thanks for sharing with us!

  10. you can make this for me anytime! it looks fabulous!

  11. I love this! You should consider buying a pressure cooker to make beans from scratch.

    • Hahaha Mireya, yes. I’ll add to the list, along with a micro plane grater, an ice cream scoop, round cake pans, a cake plate…. I think you get the picture! No money, no space, but yes, a pressure cooker would make many of my dishes MUCH easier to prepare!

  12. Yummy! This sounds so hearty and comforting! Looks like it could warm me up, great job!

  13. Delicious looking soup! And your combo of soup, peace & quiet sounds like a winner for dinner for me too…would someone get me off FB already, please? Therea

  14. Your Ribollita accomplished what soup is supposed to do, it warmed your body and your soul. It ‘s so hearty with all of the veggies and bread. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Oh, does your soup look fabulous!!!! I wish I had a hot bowl of this for dinner tonight~

  16. This looks great! What a delicious, comforting dinner.

  17. Mmm…this soup DOES look bellissimo! I could do with this kind of pampering myself.

  18. That’s comfort in a bowl! Looks delicious!

  19. On a cold night like tonight, this soup looks and sounds just perfect. Thank you for sharing…and for your kind words on my blog today. I hope you are having a happy and warm night!

  20. Looks very comfort and tasty too!

  21. Yummy! Looks amazingly delicious!

  22. Mmm – this is hearty, healthy, good for you soup. Such great ingredients. I’ve never seen the cilantro cooking base before – how interesting. I must find it!

  23. I dont even know that name, it sounds nice, like some kind of song not a dish .. πŸ™‚

    • Now that you mention it, I think I was singing as I was cooking it. πŸ™‚ Hahaha!

  24. That looks pretty darn good to me! Comfort food at it’s best! :-p I love anything with beans in it, especially those soft, pillowy white beans. And that orange broth is always a sure sign that it’s going to taste amazingly good!

  25. Holy cow thats a lot of ingredients. But if the photos are anything to go by, bet it was delish and compensated you for your effort.

    • There’s a lot of spices, but not too many ingredients. And it’s pretty simple to make… it kinda cooks itself! It was TOTALLY worth it πŸ™‚

  26. I love everything about this dish. Beans, and kale, that rich broth too. It’s only 8:50 a.m. I need to get a hold of myself:) Hope you have a great day!

  27. What a hearty and delicious meal!

  28. I’m sure I seem like an ungrateful glutton bc I have yet to thank you for the big tupperware of soup you gave me. I have been grazing on this soup for 3 days….a small bowl for each meal. It’s soooo good! You got all the flavors and heartiness just right! Thanks again for sharing.

    • So glad you liked it! I ate it all week too… can’t imagine if I would have had to eat THREE portions that size (I also shared with CJ). Thanks for helping me eat it! πŸ˜€

  29. Great mix of flavors and perfect for a cold day. πŸ™‚

  30. I love ribollita! Yours looks so warm and colorful! The perfect meal for the middle of winter!

  31. Your ribollita looks delicious – it’s definitely one of my all time favourite soups

  32. Oh, I always see the Goya sofrito bases in the store and I am always tempted to buy them even though I don’t know what the heck I’m gonna make with them. Now I know!!

  33. Bellissimo indeed! This soup looks wonderful … I love the flavor combination.

  34. Great combo and looks delicious!

  35. mmm…almost like a Caldo Gallego…one of my faves from my abuela…

    all those cultures meld so much…

    • TOTALLY! … without the meat, but totally similar! Seriously, the world is so small if you really think about it! πŸ™‚

  36. This is so healthy! I’ve not heard of Ribollita but it looks quite like Minestrone. Thks for sharing this nice recipe!

  37. Thanks for all of the positive feedback folks! Happy Weekend!

  38. I haven’t seen Goya products in my local grocery store. What a comforting soup. I’m going to hunt that Goya down. This is a must make!


  39. Just ripped a recipe for this out of a magazine, but may try your recipe instead! Thanks for sharing!

    • I hope you like it!!! πŸ˜€

  40. Any suggestions on nutritious smoothie recipes? I’m in search of something fast and uncomplicated.

  41. I love ribollita (I’m Italian, after all…). It’s such a comfort food in winter… πŸ˜›

  42. this right here….look like pure comfort food. it looks so hearty and filling.

    i’m a soup and bean junkie, so i am VERY excited to make this thursday night.

    • Did you make it?!?!?!? πŸ™‚

  43. When I see this soup I think of thick cable turtle neck sweaters, sitting in front of a window and watching snow fall outside. That’s the first thing that came to mind. That and, “the only other sound’s the sweep of easy wind and downy flake.” It’s a soup that deserves to be eaten in silence so it can be truly savored and enjoyed. Thank you so much for passing it along.

  44. I love ribollita! Thanks for posting this- yum yum.