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Leftover ribollita

This thrifty Italian classic is a triumph of forgiveness when it comes to making the most of leftovers. Its name means reboiled – the intention being that it could be made in vast amounts, then reheated on subsequent days. It’s not only a great vehicle for leftover cannellini beans, but also all manner of cooked and raw veg, and even a scrap of Parmesan rind.


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery with a pinch of salt and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary and any leftover roots, and give everything a stir for a minute.

Tip in the stock, tomatoes and pulses. Add the Parmesan rind, if you have one, and season with a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat.

Cook gently for 30 minutes, adding any raw greens 5–10 minutes before the end to become tender. Add cooked leaves at the end, just to heat through.

Fish out the rosemary sprig and Parmesan rind and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly toast the bread. Rub with the cut surface of the garlic, then place a slice of toast in each warmed bowl. Ladle the ribollita over the top and trickle over a little extra virgin olive oil before serving.

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Small sprig of rosemary
  • Any roast roots, such as carrots, parsnips, celeriac, even potatoes, chopped fairly small
  • 1–1.5 litres veg stock, depending on the amount of veg and pulses you’re using
  • 400g tin whole plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 200–400g cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed if tinned
  • 100–150g cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if tinned
  • Piece of Parmesan rind (optional)
  • Few handfuls of shredded greens, fresh or leftover (see tips and swaps)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 4–6 slices of slightly stale sourdough bread
  • 1 garlic clove, halved Some well-flavoured extra virgin olive oil

This recipe is taken from...

Love Your Leftovers