Sharing Food and Memories with Friends and Family

December 26, 2019
Irene Saiger



IMG_0382 (1)It is the fourth day of Chanukah and, for Los Angeles, it is cold, gray and dreary.  I decided that instead of latkes, I’ll make soup.  One of those hearty filling soups that only needs a good piece of bread to go with it,  and a glass of red wine.

I first tasted this dish many years ago on our first and only trip to Italy.  We had some amazing meals and I still remember the name of two restaurants that we dined in.  One was Cafe Zaza in Florence where we had bowls of Ribollita.  I am sure that was my first taste of kale, and it has never tasted as good as on that night.

So here I am sitting in my kitchen, apron on, radio playing Chanukah music, found by Alexa, with some Yiddish songs thrown in.  In between cooking, I am sewing a gift that was a special request. My Mom was a seamstress, and my Dad a tailor.  My uncle Charlie was a hat maker and my uncle Jack was a furrier.  It should come naturally to me but what I lack in talent, I make up for in determination.  Yes, I have turned into my Mom.  And because the kitchen smells so good and because this soup is so simple and easy to make, I thought you also may want to make it.  Let me know if you do. Wishing you all a Happy Chanukah and a Happy New Year, filled with peace, love and good health.  And don’t forgot the wine. L’Chayim.

Note:  I used pareve chicken broth for a meat meal,  but if I was serving dairy, I would definitely toss in a parmesan rind.



4-5 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 large onion  ( 2 cups) finely diced

2 carrots diced (1 cup)

2 stalks celery diced ( 1 cup)

6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 bunch Lacinato kale, leaves removed from stem and chopped

3 whole tomatoes removed from can, crushed and chopped

2 cans cannellini beans, drained

1/2 cup white wine

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

6 cups chicken stock (pareve) or vegetarian broth

1/2 bunch Italian parsly chopped

Saute onions in olive oil for about 10 minutes on a low flame.  Do not brown. Season with salt and pepper and add celery, carrots and garlic and continue to saute for another 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, kale and wine and let flavors combine.  Add beans and broth.  Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.  Add chopped parsley.  I am going to serve with toasted thinly sliced baguette rubbed with fresh garlic and placed on top of  each bowl of soup.  If you want it even thicker, use an immersion blender and partially blend.  Or use it for a meat meal by adding Italian sausage.  Serves 4-6










10 thoughts on “Ribollita

  1. I’ve been making Ribollitta ever since we traveled to Tuscany in 1997 and ate it almost every day. So many variations, but all have turned out great.
    Happy Hanukkah!

  2. I hope it tastes as good as it did in Italy in 2001! Love Gail

  3. Love the dreidels in the pic!

  4. This sounds great! Maybe be Rachel and I will make some for Shabbat dinner!

  5. Hi Irene, this looks delicious, although I do have to point out that it is not parve because of the chicken stock 😬

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