Italian Bread Soup (Ribolitta)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 8

A delicious, hearty Italian soup that's perfect for cooking in your pizza oven.

Great for using up stale bread!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • handful chopped fresh parsley
  • 1L (1 3/4 pints) chicken stock
  • 225ml (8 fl oz) water
  • 2 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 200g (7 oz) shredded cabbage
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 (400g) tins cannellini beans
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 slices stale ciabatta
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onions, garlic, celery and carrot until the onion is soft.
  2. Stir in bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, water, tomatoes, thyme, cabbage, potato and beans.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a 4 litre casserole, place 1/3 of the mixture over the bottom. Layer 3 of the stale pieces of bread over the top. Place another 1/3 of the soup mixture over the bread followed by remaining 3 slices of bread. Top with remaining 1/3 of soup.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 15 minutes in the pizza oven, or until soup is bubbling and cheese is light golden.