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Tuscan bean-and-bread soup

Tuscan bean and bread soup

Called ribollita in Italy, this is traditionally a vegetable soup, but we’ve added meat to make it extra hearty.

  • Serves 4
  • More than 2 hours
  • Pair with Red wine


  • 600g beef shin
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 packet (200g) pancetta or streaky bacon
  • 1 large can (800g) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) sugar
  • 10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) thyme leaves
  • 4 cups (1L) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cans (400g each) cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, washed and chopped
  • 3 cups (750ml) shredded white cabbage

  • For serving:
  • ½ ciabatta loaf, torn into chunks
  • 1 cup (250ml) grated parmesan


  1. Season meat and brown in oil.
  2. Add onions, garlic and pancetta or bacon and sauté until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add tomatoes, sugar, sage, thyme and stock, and simmer gently for 2 hours, or until meat is tender. (You may have to add a little more water as you go.)
  4. Tip in beans, chard and cabbage, and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Season well.
  5. Submerge chunks of bread in the soup and serve topped with lashings of good olive oil and parmesan.
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