Main courses

Ribollita di spinaci (Spinach soup)

There’s nothing worse than freezing your bum off in a cold apartment especially when it’s the first week back at work after Christmas! 

So what can you do to give yourself a little pick me up??

Something very simple, very lazy and very warming…in the words of  Marie-Antoinette…  “Let them eat SOUP!”….  (or something to that effect).

So I’m bringing a bit of the North to the South of Italy tonight and cooking Ribollita, a traditional soup from Toscana (Tuscany) which is usually made with cavolo nero that I’ve substituted for spinach just because it’s easier to get hold of. Ribollita means reboiled ( I know, it’s not as sexy in English), I’m guessing they call it ‘reboiled’ because it’s pretty much the only thing that Italians (unlike the British) boil the living hell out of. This makes it the perfect lazy winter night’s dish because all you have to do is curl up with a good book in front of the fire (radiator..  camping stove.. whatever you’ve got) and wait for it to cook itself.

So put the hob on, pour yourself a brew and get prepared to chuck a load of stuff in a pot and leave it there!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 peperoncino
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1 can of lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250g spinach
  • 1 litre of veg stock
  • some bread (preferably stale)


  1. Finely chop the onion, garlic and peperoncino and put in a pan with a splash of olive oil on a high heat.
  2. Let the onions sweat down for 5-10 mins and then add the beans.
  3. Mix the onions and beans together for a few minutes and then add the lentils and the bay leaf.
  4. Mix for a few more minutes and add the spinach and the stock.
  5. Leave to boil for 30mins-1 hour. The longer you leave it, the thicker it gets.
  6. After the soup has thickened, add some (stale) bread, this will soak up the stock and thicken the soup even further.
  7. Once the soup starts to look like a stew, it’s done. Serve in a bowl with some thick cut bread and dig in. 🙂

And there you have it! Ribollita di spinaci! 


Work that hob and Walk unafraid people!

-H    Xx


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