because what is life without good food?

Lovely Italian Bread Soup

Italian Bread Soup

This is day 5 of my challenge to blog every day in October about connections through food. Starting a food blog was simply a way to share my cooking creativity … and when I started I had no idea what wonderful places and fantastic friends this blog would open up to me. Now the friends I’ve made mean more than the food. I look forward to talking to them every morning, and often we say goodnight to each other before we go to bed. Some I talk to every day, some only once in a while, but I really really love them all.

They are an endless source of inspiration, support and love. Some of them, I don’t even know their real names. But it doesn’t matter. We party together in cyberspace and share stories, struggles, encouragement and food.

This recipe is from one of my favorite foodie friends: A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll. She serves it with a remembering of her visit to Italy, which brings up memories for me of my trip to Italy over 20 years ago.

She says of this soup:  “As stunning and memorable as those places were, I’ll never forget the soup my father ordered at an outdoor cafe almost nineteen years ago:  Bread Soup.”

I had to make it.

Italian Bread Soup

This is her recipe, copied verbatim. When I made it, I altered it a little, made about half the amount, didn’t soak the beans overnight (actually I used my sister’s trick for cooking beans), used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, and couldn’t locate my red pepper flakes.  I had no leek , and I used frozen spinach and my mom’s canned tomatoes.

Italian Bread Soup

From A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll

1 1/2 cups dried cannellini beans that have been soaked overnight

6 cups organic, low sodium vegetable broth
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
2 medium onions, diced (divided)
1/2 teaspoon thyme

1-2 diced carrots
1 leek, sliced and rinsed well
1-2 medium red potatoes, diced

3-4 cups (or more) roughly chopped fresh baby spinach
1 (28 oz.) unsalted, whole canned tomatoes (including juice, break the tomatoes with your hands)
handful of fresh basil, minced
salt and pepper to taste
day old italian bread

Drain soaked beans.  Add to a large stock pot along with 1 diced onion, thyme, and the 6 cups broth. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.

Saute leek and onion in the olive oil until the onions become slightly translucent. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, carrots, potato, and can of tomatoes.  Add to the cooked beans.  (Add more water to cover the veggies, if needed.)

Continue simmering until the carrots and potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, chop the stale bread into cubes, coat in olive oil and toast in a skillet.

When the potatoes or tender, add the chopped spinach, bread cubes, and basil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Allow the bread to soak in the soup until it breaks down.

Keep some in the fridge so you have a lovely, healthy tasty meal when you are in a rush.

Italian Bread Soup

This recipe was shared at It’s a Keeper Thursdays.

8 responses

  1. Beautiful!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm

  2. You sound like me in the kitchen! “I don’t have this, so I’ll use this!” I do it all the time!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    • Ann

      I totally do that all the time! I can never follow a recipe …

      October 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

  3. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

    I. Love. Soup. I make it all the time and always looking for new soup recipes to try. Thanks for sharing this delicious soup recipe! I look forward to trying this!

    October 6, 2011 at 4:15 am

  4. Wow this looks so very delicious.

    Thanks for linking at It’s a Keeper thursday (don’t forget to give a link back) I just shared this on my facebook as well.

    October 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    • Ann

      Oh yes! Thanks for the reminder, Jenna. Post is updated with the link.:)

      October 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

  5. This soup looks good! I love a good soup recipe and I have not tried this kind before. On the to do list for sure.

    October 10, 2011 at 1:13 am

  6. This looks like one yummy soup! I shared your recipe on my Must Try Tuesday blog post today.

    Thanks for sharing!


    October 11, 2011 at 10:39 am

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