Memories of Ribollita, and by the way, did you notice my Printer Friendly button?

When we traveled to Florence years ago the food I remember most was ribollita, it’s a thick and creamy soup with many variations but the main ingredients always include leftover bread, cannellini beans and inexpensive vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, beans, Tuscan kale, onions and a bunch of other things. It was originally made by reheating or reboiling the leftover minestrone or vegetable soup from the previous day. Ribollita is classic Tuscan peasant food.

I had the perfect opportunity to make this last week as we had relatives staying with us from sunny Florida, a big pot was waiting on the stove the day they arrived to warm them up and get them acclimated to our weather here.

My sister-in-law and I share the same fondness for ribollita, we would order it practically everyday when we were all in Italy together. Over the years we talked many times about making it ourselves but we never got around to it, but thanks to the Internet and a search for ribollita I was able to come up with a great recipe by combining a few that I saw.

They recently traveled back to Florence to celebrate their 40Th anniversary so the taste of ribollita was fresh in their mind, I have to say she was raving about my ribollita so I know it had to be pretty good.

They surprised me with this beautiful apron they had embroidered in Florence at the San Lorenzo Market, I love it!

Wouldn’t this be the perfect gift for all your foodie friends? Check out those baby bibs and chef hats, I love personalized gifts!

They said it didn’t take very long to make my apron maybe about 15 minutes or so, the machine did it really fast.

I’m so glad they thought of taking photo’s so I could actually see it being made.

Of course what would a visit to Chicago be without having some cannoli cake in the mix? It was my sister-in law’s birthday while she was here so this was the perfect dessert, it’s consistently amazing every time we order one from our favorite Italian bakery!

Sponge cake bathed in rum and layered with fresh cannoli cream surrounded in whipped cream, oh so good, but that’s another blog post alltogether!

Before I give you the recipe for ribollita I have to thank my brother-in-law John for installing the Printer Friendly button for me, I tried to do it several times myself and chickened out each time being in fear of the dreaded HTML. To the many subscribers and readers who personally wrote me asking me to do this I just want to say thank you for your patience, you’re going to love this feature, so easy with just a click you can take out the photos and just print the text only, try it, you’ll like it! I really feel like I finally entered the 21st century!
Additional note to my subscribers: Because you’re just receiving a feed through email, ( which is not my actual blog) you will have to come over to my blog site to use the print friendly button, you will see it at the bottom of each of my posts. My blog address is

8 to 10 cups of chicken/ vegetable stock
1 chopped onion
2 carrots chopped
1 large celery celery stalk with greens chopped
1 head of dark kale sliced thin
6 cloves of chopped garlic
1 fennel bulb chopped
1 or 2 leeks cleaned and chopped
2 cans of cannellini beans drained, by all means use fresh if you want.
2 diced red potatoes
1/2 head of savoy cabbage sliced thin
1 large zucchini chopped
2 cups of diced canned tomatoes
Day old bread, (optional)
A generous handful of grated parmesan cheese
1 parmesan rind, (they sell the cheesey rinds at my Whole Foods, I pick some up everytime I go there and stick them in my freezer for soups all winter. If you can’t find them just add more grated cheese.)
Fresh rosemary, thyme and red pepper flakes, you could also add sage, plus salt and pepper to taste.
Here’s what you do:
1. In a large stock pot nicely drizzled with olive oil saute all your vegetables until slightly soft, then add in herbs and red pepper, next pour the stock in and add the cheese rind.
2. After it starts to boil let it simmer for a good 45 minutes then add beans and simmer a few more minutes. At this point I like to taste and add, maybe more pepper, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, or grated cheese, you be the judge.
3. I took my immersion blender and blended half of the pot, it renders a nice smooth yet still chunky consistency. I did not add the the day old bread into my soup I felt it didn’t need as it was super thick, feel free to add it if you wish especially if you don’t use an immersion blender.
Ladle soup into bowls and drizle olive oil on top along with grated cheese, this is comfort food at it’s best!
Enjoy and Buon Appetito!
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  1. Yum, that ribollita looks fantastic! I think you need to send your brother-in-law over to have the printer friendly button installed for me! Great idea!

  2. Love the apron. Mom and Dad picked up one for me when they were in Italy last month, but not a personalized one.

    Thank you for the print button – I never asked, but will certainly use it. And thanks for your hard work on all this yumminess for the rest of us who get to enjoy it, and be a part of your memories!

  3. I love this soup! And have forgotten about it. On my agenda for next week. The apron is the sweetest, most thoughtful present – do you just wander your home wearing it? And the cannoli cake. Oh sigh. Double sigh and she sighs again in anticipation.

  4. Ribollita is a wonderful soup to warm up with in winter! Actually it is good any time of the year as it’s a good way to get in all the variety of vegetables we should be eating each day!

    Your new apron is so pretty! What a nice surprise.

    A print friendly button is a wonderful addition, Marie! Now I won’t have to “cut and paste” your recipes any longer…thanks!

  5. That apron is super cute! Ribollita is one of those italian dishes that I’ve heard a lot about but because my parents only like to pretend they’re really italian, have never had. You have so made me want it. And I also need to learn how to make cannoli cake. Stat.

  6. okay that Canolli cake is just amazing!! I have yet to find a good one at my local bakeries…what a great birthday cake!! 🙂

  7. Now I want a printer friendly button Marie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The apron is a very thoughtful gift for a foodie and the soup very comforting.

  8. I added a Print Friendly button Marie. Yay me!!!!

  9. Ribollita, I like soups and mostly when it is with beans, healthy and yummy comforting food in winter.

  10. Marie…please tell me where that cake came from in Chicago. I have not had good Cannoli cake since Nancy’s Bakery closed. It looks amazing. The Ribollita looks yummy also!

  11. Linda, It’s called The Italian Bakery.
    82 E. Lake St.
    Addison, Il.

    Cash only!

  12. My name is Debby and I’m a soupaholic. Wow. So hearty for the rainy season that is moving in fast for the weekend. Oh, I’m also a cakeaholic. How I wish we were neighbors. Congrats on the print button. I installed my months ago, and said a prayer it would work. Whew! It does.

  13. What a beautiful gift idea and the soup looks so flavorsome and heartwarming!!

  14. Ciao cara, buongiorno, your ribollita is really well done!!I have some very nice friends from Florence (she cooks the best ribollita I ever ate) and from Siena…do you know the best way to eat it??? Ribollita means re-cooked, itr means that when pleasants cooked suop the day after they put the left soup in oven….I ate both version and the second one was the best!!!

    Buon appetito, ciao Flavia

    today I posted a xmas cinnamon centerpiece and there’s the english version!!!! …Sorry for my bad English!!!

  15. Love the soup!! And the apron too 🙂

  16. Yum!

    Funny, I had shelled, vacuum-packed and then frozen cannelinis from the garden this summer — some of which I was indeed planning to use in ribolitta. I’m just waiting for the bone-chilling Maine winter to set it.

  17. Love the apron and love, love your ribollita. Just the ticket for these cold days. Our heating packed in, but I wouldn’t mind if I had a bowl of this in front of me to warm me up. Packed full of goodness too.

  18. Just downloaded your soup recipe – will definitely make it very soon. Does your SIL remember the name of the shop in San Lorenzo Market (aprons)wondering if they would ship aprons to US?
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week – I’m thankful for you and your blog!

  19. I love thick, hearty soups like your Ribollita, have to make this. And can I say, Yay! for the print-friendly button!

  20. A huge thank you for both your outstanding recipes, and the printer-friendly button! I’ve been cutting & pasting into a Word doc, and saving them in a special file, as your recipes are the best! I share them with friends, family and students.

  21. Your Ribollita sounds wonderful! It would be a hit on our table. Thank you! Love your apron. How thoughtful of your brother and SIL!

  22. That cannoli cake looks so good. Thick cannoli filling, mmm! I’m going to have to get the name of this bakery whenever I make it to Chicago one day. 😉

    Love the printer friendly option now!

  23. Next time I’m in Chicago my daughter and I are going to that bakery! What a luscious cake.

    Terrific post, Marie. Love the apron and that soup. I tried to add the printer option to my blog but couldn’t figure it out. I’ll work on that after the holiday.

  24. I posted the recipe last year, I actually looked up the one by the Italian Cooking Academy! No leeks – but very similar to yours! Thank you for your pics and note on cannoli cake, now I’m really curious to try it….I never knew!

  25. Very nice recipe. The great thing about ribollita is that there really is no wrong way to make it.

  26. Dear P.I.C. – I have enjoyed your blog and recipes but have not left comments before now! I rushed out and gathered the ingredients for this fabulous ribollita and made it yesterday. OMG – Nothing short of fabulous!!! One bite, close my eyes, and I am transported back to Italy! Thanks so much for sharing.
    (Please tell your ravioli recipes?)

  27. Happy Thanksgiving, Marie! Save me a slice of that cannoli cake! I am passing along an award to you. Come get it here:

  28. Hi Marie – I’m back to tell you that this soup is fantastic. I made a big pot of it yesterday and we LOVED it. I put big slices of parmesan cheese toast in each bowl and ladled the hot soup over it. To die for!!!!!

  29. Hello Marie,

    It looks and sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try it. Recipe printed! and acknowledged. Thank you.

  30. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Thanks a ton!