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Wheat Berry "Ribollita"

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
Active time 30 mins
Total time 1 hr, 30 mins

Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 cup)

Traditional ribollita is a Tuscan specialty made of leftover minestrone warmed up with chunks of bread tossed into it. In this version, wheat berries stand in for bread, bulking up the soup with nutty flavor and pleasant texture. The Parmesan cheese rind that simmers in the broth enriches the whole pot with umami depth. It’s a great technique that’ll convince you to always save your Parmesan rinds, stashing them in the freezer for uses like this. If you don’t have any, check the cheese counter at your local gourmet grocer; you’ll often find rinds for sale there.


  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 6 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked wheat berries
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (2-oz.) Parmesan cheese rind
  • 5 cups loosely packed baby arugula (about 5 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/3 cup)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 225
  • fat 7.6 g
  • satfat 1.6 g
  • monofat 4.1 g
  • polyfat 0.7 g
  • protein 9 g
  • carbohydrate 30 g
  • fiber 7 g
  • cholesterol 5 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 573 mg
  • calcium 124 mg
  • sugars 6 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Remove 3 tomatoes from can, and finely chop to equal 1/2 cup. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, and red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until tomatoes are caramelized and deep red, about 7 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add 6 cups water, wheat berries, salt, black pepper, beans, rind, and remaining tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; partially cover, and simmer 40 minutes or until wheat berries are tender, stirring occasionally.

  2. Add arugula and vinegar; cook 1 minute or until arugula just wilts, stirring constantly. Discard Parmesan rind. Divide soup evenly among 8 bowls. Top servings evenly with shaved Parmesan; drizzle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.