Ribollita means “reboiled” in Italian. This soup was traditionally considered a “peasant” food, made by reheating leftover minestrone soup and adding day-old bread. This thickens the soup and turns it into a hearty, resourceful meal.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any leftover minestrone regularly on hand. Fortunately, my Instant Pot saves the day (literally) and cooks the unsoaked dried beans along with the veggies!
This soup, despite having refined white bread as an ingredient, is full of redeeming (real-food) qualities. Plus it evokes fond memories of my family’s four years living in Italy. We ordered it many times while enjoying the casual, farm food of Tuscany. Try it with a glass of chianti and be transported to Tuscany!
Instant Pot Tuscan White Bean, Vegetable and Bread Soup (Ribollita)
This recipe is versatile: the sausage is optional if you prefer a vegetarian soup; likewise, the bread is optional if you prefer a gluten-free soup or simply want the bread on the side. Either way, I especially love how the Instant Pot makes it possible to use dried beans without ever soaking or cooking them for hours.
- 1 lb. mild Italian sausage (optional; local if you can find it)
- 2 cups yellow onion, chopped (2 onions)
- 1 cup carrots, chopped (3 carrots)
- 1 cup celery, chopped (3 stalks)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 cups dried white beans (Great Northern or cannellini)
- 4 cups fresh kale, chopped
- 1 t. black pepper
- 1/4 t. kosher salt
- 2 T. dried basil
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
- 2 cups water
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes (organic, preferably)
- 1/2 14.5 oz. can tomato puree
- 2 large yellow squash, quartered and sliced
- 4 cups sourdough bread, cubed (optional)
- 1/2 cup good-quality parmesan cheese, grated
- If using, brown Italian sausage in Instant Pot insert on saute setting. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. The sausage is technically optional, but I love the extra protein and flavor it provides, especially if I’m leaving out the bread.
- Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic to Instant Pot insert and saute for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Add browned sausage, dry beans, kale, pepper, salt, basil, stock and water, and tomatoes and puree to sauteed vegetables. Set Instant Pot to Manual, high pressure setting and set timer for 40 minutes. Natural Pressure Release for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in yellow squash and bread cubes (if using) until soup is warm and thickened. (Of course, the soup will be much thinner without the bread.) Keeps well on warm a while until serving. Top each bowl with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.