Tuscan Baked Bread Soup

I’ve been shirking my dinner duties, I know. Sorry. Today I made baked bread soup. Mostly because it sounded so intriguing – don’t you think? You cook down a ton of veg – the usual onion-carrot-celery trio, plus garlic, thin-skinned potatoes, kale, savoy cabbage, tomatoes and smooth white kidney beans – it really is pure virtue in a pot, this. Then you tear up almost half a loaf of crusty bread and poke the pieces in, and refrigerate the lot overnight. I did the whole thing in an enamel-covered cast iron pot – it went from stovetop to fridge, then into the oven the next day. On day 1 it doesn’t seem like all that much, but overnight it morphs into something much better, and then when you bake it uncovered rather than reheat it on the stovetop, it gets all crusty around the edges, almost like a casserole. I thought it needed some freshly grated Parmesan on top – don’t you agree?

The original called for 1 lb of dried white kidney beans, which are soaked, simmered, and then partly pureed. You could do this, of course. But I don’t want to turn you off at the prospect of having to soak and cook your beans before even starting on your “soup”, which then must sit in wait for a night before you can bake it. You could of course start with dried beans if you like.

It’s like a big ol’ salad, condensed and warmed up for winter. If you’re the type to crumble crackers into your soup and won’t be too upset at not being able to actually slurp it, you’ll love it.

In other news, this site has expanded a little. Dinner with Julie is now a citizen of the Republic of Facebook. All the cool kids were doing it, and I succumbed to peer pressure. That’s right, I have another page to update. It will be like Dinner with Julie Lite┬«. I do like the idea of posting little snippets and links and photos here and there in between the bigger posts, which I’m hoping will go back to being more dinner-oriented. I have some ideas. Stay tuned.

Tuscan Baked Bread Soup
adapted from Saveur, Issue #46

canola or olive oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 celery ribs, thickly sliced
2 thin-skinned potatoes, chopped
1 large bunch swiss chard or kale, ribs removed and leaves torn or coarsely chopped
1/2 small savoy cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1 796 mL can whole plum tomatoes, undrained
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
3 thick slices day-old country-style crusty white bread
1 19 oz (540 mL) can white kidney or navy beans, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a good drizzle of oil over medium heat and saute the onions for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, chard and cabbage. Add tomatoes and stock, cover, and cook for about an hour, until everything is soft.

Tear the bread into chunks and add it to the pot, along with the beans. Cool completely and refrigerate.

The next day, preheat oven to 375┬║. Heat the leftover soup in the casserole in the oven, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 1 hour. For the last 30 minutes, do not stir; let soup brown lightly. If you like, top it with some Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

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January 18 2011 11:19 pm | one dish and soup and vegetarian

13 Responses to “Tuscan Baked Bread Soup”

  1. Aussie Farm Princess on 19 Jan 2011 at 4:39 am #

    What a gorgeous idea. So simple I am wondering (once again) why I didn’t think of that.

  2. Cathy N in Inglewood Calgary on 19 Jan 2011 at 7:05 am #

    I love bread soup and your recipe is a great one! My husband and I are leaving for a six month sailing trip through the South Pacific and I am collecting recipes to use along the way. I can imagine that at the end of week two when our fresh vegies (that we will have loaded in Victoria) are getting a bit limp it will be time to chop it all up and throw it in our big fish pot for baking the next day. Mmmmmmm… what a treat it will be! (We will be baking bread as we go along so I’m sure day old bread will be no problem). Thanks again for your great blog and I am looking forward to having you as a friend on FB! <3

  3. Cathy N in Inglewood Calgary on 19 Jan 2011 at 7:12 am #

    OK… what happened? That <3 was supposed to come up as a heart! Oh well!

  4. stacey snacks on 19 Jan 2011 at 9:31 am #

    This is more like a bread pudding!
    I will be trying this one.
    Thanks Julie!

  5. JulieVR on 19 Jan 2011 at 9:48 am #

    It sounds like it, but it’s not really – there isn’t much bread in there (despite how it sounds!) there’s much more veg than bread, and it doesn’t have egg to bind it together like bread pudding does.

  6. Jan @ Family Bites on 19 Jan 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Lovely, Julie. It looks exactly like what I need to make right now.

  7. Cheryl F on 19 Jan 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    I’m posting only to say that when I checked on here earlier this evening, I misread your gravity tweet…thought you said gravy was a harsh mistress…

    Can I share I’ve been thinking of poutine lately?

  8. JulieVR on 19 Jan 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    Gravy is the opposite! but does help out gravity (as in, overconsumption contributes to the gravitational pull…)

  9. Suzy on 20 Jan 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Mmmmm this looks wonderful. My sweetie got me a gorgeous Le Creuset French Oven for Christmas and it would look so pretty with this bread soup!

  10. Barb on 21 Jan 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    a recipe like this befor but have yet to try it. I really like the idea of it.

  11. Barb on 21 Jan 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    That didn’t really turn out did it? I thought I had typed that I have seen a recipe like this before but have yet to try it. (I make enough typos myself without the silly computer making some for me!)

  12. Tuscan Baked Bread Soup « On a Pizza on 18 Feb 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    […] want to eat delicious meals. Of course… So I found this: Tuscan Baked Bread Soup adapted from DinnerWithJulie.com Tuscan Baked Bread […]

  13. Marie on 23 Oct 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    I made this soup last week-end and it was sooooo
    Delicious. I have given it to several people and I hope they enjoy it as much as I did. Will certainly be making this again and again. Thanks!

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