Mark Bittman’s Ribollita

Apr 10, 2022 | Recipes

This hearty vegetable soup is topped with cheesy toast browned under the broiler. The flavors of tomato, kale, veggies and cannellini beans combine with the rich cheese and red onion for a satisfying, warming meal. And it’s quick and easy to prepare. I’ve modified the recipe slightly, but you can see the original here, which gets five star reviews on NY Times Cooking, with some helpful ideas in the comments section. Bittman calls for a pound of kale, but I used a bit less, just watching the proportions as I added the greens near the end. For the bread, I used Super Bloom gluten-free sourdough, and it was delicious. If you want to use bone broth and don’t have time to make your own, try the nutritious and tasty options from Brodo. I used Brodo chicken broth here, and for the cheese, a combination of pecorino and manchego.


A knob of butter
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 or 3 cloves minced garlic
Salt and ground black pepper
About 2 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans
15 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (or a little more, if you have a larger can)
4 cups vegetable stock, bone broth or combination of broth and water
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
A large bunch of kale, or a little more, chopped
Good, crusty bread
Good olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Parmesan, pecorino or other cheese for grating


  1. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft—about five or ten minutes.
  2. Drain the beans, and if they’re canned, rinse them. Add them to the pot, with the tomatoes and their juices, the stock or broth, and rosemary and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let the soup bubble steadily. Cover and cook for twenty minutes or so, checking occasionally to stir and break up the tomatoes. Meanwhile, slice the bread (one or two slices per person) and toast it.
  3. Turn on the broiler. Fish out and discard the rosemary and thyme stems, if you like, then add the kale. Cook another ten minutes or so, until everything is tender.
  4. Lay the pieces of toast on top of the soup and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter red onion slices over the toast pieces, and grate a generous amount of cheese over them. Place the pot under the broiler and let the cheese melt and start to brown. Serve each portion of soup with a slice or two of the cheesy toast on top.


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