Making Italian bread soup

Italian-style Vegan Bread Soup

When I was in Italy we had a few soups that were, technically, bread soups. Both Pappa al Pomodoro and Ribollita use day-old bread and both are delicious. They’re rustic and thick and resemble something more like a bolognese sauce than a soup. So when I got back to the states, I decided to try making one. I Googled “Italian bread soup” and discovered a gazillion recipes that vary not only by region, but by chef … and undoubtedly, by what’s available: either in season or in the kitchen, pantry, house, garden. After reading through a few different recipes, I made my own version adding and subtracting the things I like best and my version of an Italian bread soup was born.

Vegan recipe for Italian style bread soup

I know. It doesn’t look all that appetizing, but trust me, it’s delicious.

A quick note about the bread. I suppose you could use whatever you have, but, I specifically bought a loaf of Italian bread a few days before I wanted to make this. I think it needs to be a loaf that has a decent amount of “inside” to it, rather than crust. So skip the baguettes for this recipe.

Italian-style Bread Soup

PREP TIME: 30 minutes | COOK TIME: 1 hour | SERVES: 4-6

  • EVOO for cooking and serving
  • ½ loaf, about 3 cups, day-old bread
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into small pieces
  • 2 medium sized carrots, cut into the same size pieces as zucchini
  • 2 TBS garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 16-oz can Italian-style, whole plum tomatoes and their sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, cut but not chopped

Cut or tear bread into 1-inch size pieces. Spread onto a cooking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. The trick is you want them slightly cooked, but not like croutons or toast. Remove from the oven when done.

Saute all the vegetables, garlic and seasoning in olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir frequently. Add the tomatoes and use kitchen shears to roughly cut them. Stir in the wine, cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add the bread and the beans and sort of push it down so the bread gets well covered with the liquid. Note, this is very thick and won’t have a lot of liquid. If needed, add ½ cup water of vegetable broth. Just make sure the bread gets fully engulfed so it soaks up all the liquid. Cover and let simmer for another 20 minutes. Add the spinach, stir and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Ladle into large, flat bowls and top with a little parmesan and EVOO. Enjoy!

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