This very simple peasant soup substitutes meat with bread, in Tuscany it is also known as minestra di pane (bread soup-stew) or zuppa di magro (or lean soup) although we can't properly define it as vegetarian since the Friday dish (no-meat ) custom quickly arose to flavour the soup with lard, pork crackling or best of all with a ham bone that may be used in the initial phase of the preparation.
We commonly call it ribollita because it is consumed the day after its preparation when it is warmed up in a pot with extra olive oil and reboiled. Ribollita is simple, inexpensive and made with stale unsalted Tuscan bread and a variety of vegetables including the typical Tuscan kale. Bread soup, and therefore ribollita too, are typically winter dishes also because the main ingredient – Tuscan kale – is a vegetable that can be found exclusively in winter.
The version we decided to post is the certified one, on May 24th 2001, the florentine Delegation of the Italian Cooking Academy stated this is the "Ribollita DOC" recipe and signed this official document. Although this is the official tuscan bread soup, you don't have to strictly stick to it, remember that this was a poor dish made from whatever vegetables were on hand, use your imagination and don't worry about getting it wrong.