Ribollita with Zucchini “Croutons”


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A hearty soup great for those wanting to try the Mediterranean diet.


  • ½ lb. dried white beans
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato
  • 10-12 basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ head savoy cabbage, cut in large and diced
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 8 – ½ inch thick slices day old sour dough bread, crust removed, diced
  • 8 tsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • dairy-free grated parmesan (optional)


  1. Begin by soaking white beans in water over night.
  2. Drain beans and simmer, covered in 2 quarts lightly salted water for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When beans are done set aside their liquid.
  3. Dice 1 zucchini. Heat 6 T olive oil in soup pot and sauté diced zucchini, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add tomato basil, cabbage, spinach, and cook for 10 more minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, drain white beans, reserving cooking liquid. Put half of the beans through a food mill and add puree to vegetables. Add remaining beans and cooking liquid (which should measure two quarts, add more water if necessary) and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. During last 10 minutes add diced bread to soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Slice remaining zucchini on diagonal in 8 ¼ inch thick slices, season. Toss slices with 2 T olive oil and grill or sauté until tender.
  7. Combine bread crumbs, remaining olive oil, parsley, and add 2 ½ T parmesan in a small bowl. Top each zucchini slice with a spoonful of breadcrumb mixture and brown quickly under the broiler.
  8. Ladle soup into hot bowls and top each with a zucchini crouton and parmesan, if using.

Adapted from Soup and Sandwich: Supper for 8  by Michael Romano