Warming Soup

My husband works a few evenings a week, so I’m always on the lookout for dinners that are easy, simple, healthy, cheap, and not very highly meat based (for simplicity and cheapness purposes).  Somehow, eating more decadent things is much more fun when I can share them with him.  In the summer, I usually turn to salads and egg dishes, but in the winter, I want soups and stews. 

So, I was very excited to find this recipe  by Giada De Laurentiis for Ribollita.  It’s made with beans and lots of vegetables, and lots and lots of flavor. 

For the sake of keeping it simpler and lighter, I left out the parmesan bread.  Other than that, and the pancetta (I used bacon) and herbs de Provence (I used a mix of thyme, oregano, basil, and marjoram), I had everything on hand already, and it came together very quickly.  I added a little red pepper flakes, which I think complemented it nicely (1/2 tsp gave it no real heat, but brightened it up a little bit). 

I also left out the spinach until the last minute- I figured that it would maintain it’s brightness better that way, so I put it in the individual bowl and thawed it in the microwave right before serving.  Topped with some parmesan cheese, it was delicious!


Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time:

15 min

Inactive Prep Time:

Cook Time:

40 min

6 servings


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling on bread
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, 1 minced and 1 whole
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan rind
  • 4 to 6 ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise or 1 loaf, sliced
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving


Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, pancetta, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is golden brown and the pancetta is crisp, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Drizzle the ciabatta halves with olive oil. Toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub the top of the toasts with the whole garlic clove. Place the toasts in the serving bowls and ladle the soup over the toasts. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.


One Response

  1. looks delicious. I grew up in VA and my parents were not the most adventurous when it came to food, so my idea of Italian food has always been spaghetti or lasagna. Giada De Laurentiis has helped open my eyes. Best show on the food network right now.

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