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RECIPE: Tobie Puttock’s Ribolita

Denis Walter
Article image for RECIPE: Tobie Puttock’s Ribolita

Serves 10


  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 4 medium-sized red (Spanish) onions, finely diced
  • 6 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 kg cavolo nero, stalks removed, leaves washed and coarsely chopped
  • 400 g cooked cannellini beans
  • 2 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes, drained of juice
  • 2 loaves ciabatta bread (preferably a couple of days old), crusts removed, bread roughly torn
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more or less according to your taste), plus extra for drizzling


In a large heavy-based saucepan, sauté the garlic, parsley, carrot, onion and celery in the olive oil over low–medium heat for about 15 minutes or until soft (take care not to let the vegetables color).

Add the tomatoes, simmer for 20 minutes and then add the cavalo nero and half of the cannellini beans. Add enough of the liquid (or water) from the cannelini beans to cover the ingredients and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the remainder of the cannelinni beans to the soup with enough boiling water to make the mixture quite liquidy. Add the bread a little at a time while stirring with a wooden spoon and continue to cook until the bread has broken down.

The soup will be almost the consistency of porridge when it is ready, if you feel it has become to thick you can stir in a little boiling water to loosen it up somewhat.

Season to taste and serve with a generous helping of your best quality extra virgin olive oil.

Denis Walter