Flavour of the Month January: Winter Warmer Soup


What’s in season in January?

Apples, clementines, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pomegranates, rhubarb, satsumas, tangerines

Almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts

Beetroot, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, parsnips, potato, shallots, swedes, turnips

Winter Warmer Ribolitta Soup

Serves: 6-8

Timing: Preparation 20 mins       Cooking: 30 mins

Equipment: Large saucepan, hob, oven

This Tuscan peasant soup has many variations but always includes cannellini beans, leftover bread and vegetables. Ribollitta means reboiled. The soup would be made at the beginning of the week and added to with any spare vegetables, beans or bread, as the week went on.

It’s cheap, simple and a great way to use up leftovers; most importantly it’s absolute deliciousness!
Soup Presented


1 tbsp olive oil

2 onions chopped

3 carrots, diced

1 stick celery, finely sliced

100g pancetta, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 large handfuls kale (or Spring greens or Savoy cabbage )

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tin tomatoes and juice

1 tin cannellini beans

500ml chicken stock

Parmesan rind (optional) – only if you have some left over

Day old bread – half a loaf

Small handful parsley, chopped


  1. (Optional) 24 hrs beforehand (if possible): Make infused oil by putting the zest of one lemon (avoid the white pith which is bitter) & a few cloves of garlic, individually peeled into a small jar of olive oil. Set aside.
  2. I used half a lemon and 2 cloves of garlic to half a normal sized cup of oil. We have lots left over now too.

  3. Chop onions (use a food processor for speed)
  4. Chop carrots (use a food processor for speed)
  5. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat oil over a medium heat.
  6. Add onions & pancetta and sauté 10 mins.
  7. Lower heat & add carrots, celery, garlic, salt & pepper and cook a further 10 mins until vegetables are tender. Check with a sharp knife – should cut through flesh without resistance
  8. Add tomatoes, purée and sliced kale / cabbage. Sauté 10 minutes.
  9. Add stock & beans.
  10. To thicken the soup a portion of the beans can be puréed.
  11. Add Parmesan rind if desired (optional) – only if you have some left over
  12. Bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer 15-20 mins.
  13. Stir in fresh chopped parsley & torn day-old bread.
  14. Always taste! Add more salt if necessary.

Serve with a drizzle of the infused oil, grated Parmesan & crusty bread.

Can be made vegetarian and vegan by omitting pancetta and using vegetable instead of chicken stock.
Tuscan Winter Warming Soup - Process Photos


Top Tips:

  1. You can substitute any other beans (e.g. borlotti, black eyed peas) or vegetables (e.g. cabbage, Brussel sprouts, courgettes)
  2. Don’t throw away the rind of any Parmesan cheese. Add it to the soup for added depth of flavour.
  3. A drizzle of olive oil (infused with garlic and/or lemon rind perhaps) finishes off the dish perfectly