Every dish on our menu has a story, so we thought why not share! Read on to discover everything about the Ribollita including how to make it and some exciting news...
Riccardo grew up eating Ribollita as a child whilst on holiday visiting his Grandmother in Italy. It is a traditional tuscan dish, popular amongst all families. Funny enough, our excellent recipe actually comes from Riccardo’s friend’s grandmother, who taught him how to make it in Florence.
This recipe dates back five generations in their family; true tuscan food! We even have the original copy printed here in Italian…
Ribollita has therefore always been on our menu, since day one of the restaurant. A firm favourite as well, especially in the winter months!
Every province, town and family has their own version of the Ribollita, so there is no ‘right’ way necessarily to make it. But there is one basic rule according to Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn; for it to classify as ‘Ribollita’ the vegetable soup must include beans and two types of cabbage.
Paolo Petroni wrote a very famous cook book that every house in Tuscany will own; La Cucina Fiorentina (The complete book of florentine cooking). He discusses the evolution of the Ribollita and how it used to not even be considered a recipe. Simply because it was all the leftovers boiled up the next day. But who doesn’t love leftovers, right?
As we enter autumn, and winter being just around the corner, this is the perfect heart warming dish that will fill you up with goodness! Rich in vitamins, protein from the beans, carbohydrates and fibre; a wonderfully balanced meal with great health benefits!
Over the last 20 years we have tweaked the recipe to cater for specific dietary needs, by making it gluten-free and vegan. At Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant we try produce healthy Italian food, so therefore we don’t use bread in the dish, which is usually a common ingredient. We also cut down on how many potatoes we use.
This rustic, thick vegetable stew can be easily adapted to whatever vegetables are in your fridge, but I do have to say I think we have achieved the best Ribollita recipe.
Because of our winning formula we have also some exciting news. Our customers can now buy the Ribollita fresh in packets! Perfect for when you’re in a rush, or if you need/fancy some time off cooking. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming giveaway… In the mean time we can prepare specially for you by request.
So, ultimately you have three options…
- Make it yourself at home using our easy to follow recipe below
- Book a table with us at Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant in Chelsea. Here you can experience our authentic tuscan experience at 126 Fulham Road, Chelsea, SW3 6HU.
- Pick up our brand new Ribollita, ready to heat up and enjoy it at home, or put it in the freezer for a rainy day
Serves 4-6 people
- 250 g cannellini beans
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- Pinch of sage
- 5 sticks of celery
- 1 kl carrots
- 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion
- 500 g potatoes
- 1 savoy cabbage
- 1 kl black cabbage
- 1 kl swiss chard
- 500 g courgettes
- Salt and black pepper
- 200 g french beans
- 200 g red onion
- Soak 250 g of cannellini beans into a bowl of water overnight. The following morning, rinse and drain the cannellini beans, add to a saucepan also adding water, sea salt, pinch of sage, 1 stick of celery, 1 carrot and boil. Then set on a low heat for approximately 1 hour or until cooked.
- Meanwhile, take a large stockpot; add 200 ml of extra virgin olive oil and place on very low heat.
- Take 300 g of sliced carrots, 4 sticks of celery, 1 onion and place into a food processor; mix until a very thin, smooth texture is formed. Then transfer the ingredients to the stockpot with the oil, cover and heat.
- To prepare the potatoes, remove skins. Cut into ¾ inch (1.8cm) cubes and do the same with the remaining carrots and transfer to the stockpot and allow to simmer.
- Strip the outer layer of the savoy cabbage and the black cabbage, finely chop and rinse. Take the swiss chard, finely chop the green leaves, rinse and add with the cabbage to stockpot and let all the ingredients stew for approximately 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the courgettes and a little salt and pepper.
- Once cannellini beans are cooked, place them into the stockpot (keep the cooking water for later), stew all ingredients for another 10 minutes but be careful the substance doesn’t become too thick. If so, add some of the cooking water from the beans to bring back some moisture and give the soup the desired consistency.
- Then take 200 g of french beans and place in a steam pan for 5-6 minutes. Remove them from the pan and run them under cold water until cool.
- Take 200 g of red onion, thinly slice and place with the french beans in a baking tray, adding 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and place in the oven at 240ºC (475ºF, gas mark 9) for approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Once all ingredients in the stockpot have cooked, serve and garnish with the french beans and red onion. Add a little amount of extra virgin olive oil on top if you desire.
All done! Watch below our ‘Riccardo’s Ribillota in 20’ video made at Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant 🙂