A rustic ribollita soup recipe made with sweet butternut squash, parmigiano-reggiano rinds, cannellini beans and lots of garlicky bruschetta to help mop up your bowls clean!
A traditional Tuscan soup or ribollita Toscana, meaning reboiled or cooked the day before serving, ribollita is traditionally made with stale bread, black/lacinato kale and the rinds from parmigiano-reggianno cheese.
So, how about a steaming hot bowl of butternut squash ribollita soup?
Tough I am seeing Christmas stuff everywhere, and as much as I love the holiday magic, I know better. Trust me kids, it is still fall out there.
Especially today, such a beautiful overcast chilly fall day, and I get to wear a cozy sweater, and chase my canine children through crunchy rusty leaves haha, yes, life is good in the fall.
But you know what ? I can definitely make it even better with a big pot of steaming butternut squash ribollita soup, ladled over extra garlicky chunks of bruschetta.
And while you got that simmering away, take a look at how gorgeous this show off fall day really is! Wowza!
I make my ribollita soup vegetarian, but if you really must, you are of course allowed to start your sofrito with some pancetta or Italian sausage, whatever rocks your taste buds!
I sure hope you saved those parmesan rinds over the year, because this is where you will need them. That’s what gives ribollita that unique rich flavor, the je ne sais quoi!
Traditionally you would add a bunch of day old bread torn into pieces, but personally I prefer charring some bruschetta as we eat. It is a pretty big pot of soup and I really like to eat it with a spoon and watch my garlicky bruschetta soak up the broth before my eyes.
If you just add the stale bread into the pot and let it sit, you will definitely need a fork to work your way through it. But you might like that, so again I suggest you experiment both ways and find out what you really love. Recipes are nothing but a guide.
My ribollita soup recipe calls for a mix of Swiss chard and baby spinach, but you can go traditional with black / lacinato kale or “ cavalo nero” instead.
This is the kind of soup that begs for creativity, so experiment with your favorite vegetables, from fennel to lentils, chickpeas, chicken and even meatballs.
Ideally you’d make your ribollita with cannellini beans cooked at home, but in a pinch on a Tuesday you are allowed to reach for an organic can of beans 😉
Truth is, you simply can’t go wrong making a pot of ribollita soup!
Ribollita Soup Recipe
- 1 large leek sliced and rinsed well
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 3 yellow carrots diced
- 3 qt water filtered
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 1/2 tbsp oregano dry
- 1 oz x 28 can fire roasted tomatoes diced
- 1 inches Parmesan rind about 5
- 4 c butternut squash diced, organic
- 2 c Cannellini Beans cooked
- 1 lb Swiss chard + baby spinach mix or lacinato kale, organic
- 1 ciabatta bread or stale old bread
- 1 clove large garlic
- Sea salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil as needed
- Heat up the olive oil in your large heavy soup pot and sautee the leek with a pinch of sea salt until translucent. Add the carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
- Stir in the garlic and parmesan rind then toss to coat with the vegetables. Add the bay leaf, oregano, diced tomatoes and water. Bring to a gentle simmer then add the butternut squash.
- (If using kale then this is the time to stir that in as well. Wait till the end If using spinach)
- Allow the soup to simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the butternut squash is almost done but not mushy. Add the cannellini beans to the pot and cook until warmed through.
- Adjust seasonings with the sea salt to your taste, then and stir in the baby spinach. Cover with a lid and turn off the flame.
- Meanwhile slice the bread in 2 inch slices and char them on a hot cast iron griddle until nice grill marks form on each side. Rub it with the garlic and brush with some of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the sea salt and serve in the bottom of each bowl before ladling the ribollita soup over the top. Garnish with a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Slow Cooker / Crock Pot Method
- Replace the cooked cannellini beans in the recipe with 1 c dried cannelinni beans
- Add all of the ribollita soup ingredients with the exception of the bread to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until the beans are cooked through.
- Make the bruschetta and serve!