Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tuscan Bean Soup (Ribollita), Made Vegan for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This Tuscan Bean Soup by Eric Ripert is a good way to get some healthy greens, beans and vegetables into your day. Chef Ripert's recipe uses prosciutto and Parmesan, but I wanted a vegan version so I made a few small changes--adding liquid smoke and smoked paprika to add a smoky, meaty vibe and exchanging the Parmesan in the croutons for herbs.

Ripert says, "Ribollita is a Tuscan soup whose name literally means 'reboiled' and was originally made by reheating minestrone from the previous day."

Tuscan Bean Soup
Slightly Adapted from Avec Eric by Eric Ripert
(Serves 4 to 6)

3/4 cup dried cannellini beans, rinsed and soaked overnight or 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz thickly sliced prosciutto, diced (I omitted)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup peeled and diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I used 3 cloves)
(I added 1 tsp smoked paprika)
(I added 1 tsp liquid smoke)
4 cups vegetable stock
1 small bunch Tuscan black kale (cavolo nero/lacinato kale), sliced crosswise into 1-inch thick ribbons
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves cut in half & sliced into 1-inch thick ribbons
3 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and roughly chopped
2 thyme sprigs
3 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind, aprox 3-inches (I omitted)

1 loaf crusty bread cut into 1-inch cubes
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (I omitted)
(I added 1/2 tsp each dried thyme and parsley and a pinch of salt) 

If using dried beans, drain soaked beans and transfer to a medium pot. Cover with cold water and season with 1 tablespoon salt. Bring water to a boil, lower heat and simmer, until tender about 20 minutes. Drain beans, reserving about 2 cups of the cooking liquid and set aside. 

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the prosciuttio, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook until lightly caramelized--about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the beans & liquid, broth, kale, chard, tomatoes, and smoked paprika and liquid smoke to the pot. If using canned beans add about 2 cups water. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Season the soup to taste with sea salt and pepper.

While the soup is simmering, make croutons. For oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the croutons in a bowl and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over them. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the croutons and toss to coat. Place on a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden brown--about 5 to 8 minutes. 
(For vegan stove top croutons: place croutons in a bowl and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. sprinkle with dried thyme, parsley, and a pinch of sea salt and toss to coat. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and place croutons in a single layer. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring and tossing until croutons are golden brown and crispy.)  

To serve, place a few croutons in soup bowl, ladle soup over them and garnish with additional croutons. Serve Immediately.

Notes/Results: A simple but tasty soup, hearty and satisfying without being heavy. The croutons are an excellent touch--you get two textures, the soup soaked ones underneath and the crisp ones on top. I always have to make extra fried croutons because I can't stop eating them as they cook and crisp up. :-) Definitely some Parmesan on top would be delightful but I really didn't miss it with the herby croutons. Also, I am a big fan of the convenience of canned beans but when I have/take the time to soak and cook dried beans, I am almost always happier with the extra flavor and better texture they have. This simple soup makes the most of home-cooked beans and their cooking liquid. A bit of chopping, the soaking of beans, and a couple of pans are involved in the making, but this soup goes together easily enough and tastes great. I would happily make it again.

Linking up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where our theme this week was From the Mediterranean
We have some great friends and dishes in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look!

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog joins us with Instant Pot French Lentil Soup and says, "How much do you love your Instant Pot? French Lentil Soup can be made in 16 minutes cooking time in my Instant Pot, and it is so good I ate it for breakfast this morning! This naturally creamy soup has a rich flavor and lots of healthy ingredients. It's naturally gluten free, high fiber, plant based (vegan) soup."

Debra of Eliot's Eats shared Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Salad and said, "I did a quick Google search for “cookout salads for a crowd” and this popped up. I am going to keep this one on my radar. ... This is great for leftover lunches (which is why I also selfishly made this salad). *In fact, as I was eating my leftover lunches, I decided that this recipe could merit a bit more spice. I will add more sriracha next time. (I actually had some packets of sriracha at work that I dumped on my salad lunches before eating—better with a bit more spice.)"

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Nigella's Chowder with Asian Flavors and said, "Nigella Lawson has been one of my very favorites cooks for years.  The Nigella Express cookbook gets quite a bit of use and at one time, I was determined to make every single recipe in that cookbook. I'm not sure when I let that mission go by the wayside did.  Skimming through that cookbook again had me motivated so, I choose this chowder thick with cod and potatoes.  We'll see if I want to tackle more of this book.  There are many old favorites in there."

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen brought Coriander Potato, Red Pepper and Corn Salad and said, "I know some people are not that keen on coriander, my youngest brother being one of them - but I love it. So this Coriander Potato, Red Pepper and Corn Salad appealed to me. The zesty coriander injected flavour into mediocre new potato's from the supermarket, the red pepper gave it crunch and colour and the tinned sweetcorn, burst of sweetness. Once you took a forkful, your mouth is further teased by the popping of mustard seeds. I liked it.

Finally, here at Kahakai Kitchen I made an Easy Vegan Chili from the pantry for a book review. I used black beans and black-eyed peas, added liquid smoke and smoked paprika to give it a meaty vibe and went with a variety of spices and seasonings to give it a good depth of flavor. I think even carnivores would not miss the meat.

Thanks to all who joined me at Souper Sundays this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on the post you link up to be included.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. It been a long time since I have made vegetarian Tuscan Bean soup, I used to make it lots in my student days. I am absolutely loving the addition of liquid smoke and smoked paprika to this and will nick this idea for when I make it again.

  2. Oh man, those croutons transform an ordinary soup into a treat!


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