Ribolita is a bread soup packed with lentils and vegetables. It’s healthy, comforting and a great way to use up stale bread.
First of all, Happy 2015! I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we’re 15 years in the 2000’s. Wasn’t it just yesterday we were talking about Y2K and how to abbreviate the year 2000 in conversation? Yikes! I feel old.
Anyways, it’s a new year and to celebrate, I made you soup! The inspiration for this soup came from the giant Costco-sized baguette in my pantry that I shamefully let go stale before I could eat it. I was doing a little googling and came across this soup called Ribollita. I’d never heard of it before, but from what I can determine, all the recipes for it have stale bread in them. Perfect!
As usual, I looked at a few recipes and then did my own thing. Most recipes seem to use white beans, but I went with lentils because that’s what I had. I used bacon, but you could easily make this soup vegan by omitting the bacon.
Here’s how you do it:
A hearty soup packed with veggies and bread that will keep you warm on a cold winter day.
- 3/4 cup onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 strips bacon, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 1 (14.5) oz can diced tomatos, undrained
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 5 oz frozen chopped spinach
- 3 cups stale bread, cubed
- 2/3 cup lentils, uncooked
- black pepper & cayenne pepper, to taste
- parmesan cheese, optional
- Cook lentils according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot or dutch oven, saute first six ingredients for 5-7 minutes.
- Add tomatoes (with their liquid), broth, spinach, bread and cooked lentils and spices and let simmer until veggies reach desired tenderness.
- Serve topped with parmesan cheese if desired.
Like I mentioned in the notes above, I like to cook my lentils separately, but lentils cook fairly quickly so if you want to make this even easier, you can just add the dry lentils when you add the broth, bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the lentils are cooked. If you do this, I would hold off on adding the bread until after the lentils are cooked. The bread absorbs liquid and you want there to be enough liquid in there to cook the lentils.
Feel free to play around with the protein – use white beans if you prefer, or even use chicken or pork instead of beans or lentils.