from Tuscany

Bean soup


Travel to

with spinach




Egyptian broth

  • 1/2 KG TOMATOES, peeled and cut
  • 2 POTATOES, peeled and cut
  • 2 ONIONS, chopped
  • 2 CLOVES GARLIC, chopped
  • 1 RED PEPPER, chopped
  • 2 CARROTS, cut
  • 200 GRAM WHITE BEANS, cooked or from a can
  • 100 GRAM SPINACH, chopped
  • 2 SLICES BREAD, torn to pieces
  • 400 GRAM LAMB, in small cubes
  • 2 ONIONS, chopped
  • 2 CLOVES GARLIC, chopped
  • 50 GRAM RICE , cooked
  • 4 GRAINS OF MASTIC (Arabian gum)
  • 1/4 TSP CUMIN

Stir fry the onions, garlic, potatoes, pepper and carrots 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and spinach and stir fry 2 minutes more. Add the beans and bread, 4 cups of water and pepper and salt to taste, bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour. Add the olive oil.

Ribollita means "cooked again" in Italian, as in the original recipe the soup is cooked twice. You don't need to do this, however, and I even think it is not advisable since there is spinach in it.

Stir fry the lamb pieces 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and stir fry 3 minutes more. Add 4 cups of boiling water, the cardamom and pepper and salt to taste and simmer for one and a half hour. Add the rice and the cumin. Finally, dissolve the mastic.

Mastic (Arabian gum) may be hard to find but you can leave it out. If you do find it, don't use too much. I did the first time, and not only was the soup too pungent, it was almost impossible to clean the pan and spoons, which looked like they had been glued.