Looking for a way to use up leftover crusty bread? Throw it in this hearty soup with vegetables, beans and seasonings, and you’ve got major comfort food. My main reason for making this: to use up the remainder of a good-quality French loaf I’d bought to serve alongside my slow cooker beef stew. Also, I had lots of leeks from my CSA, so I used those where otherwise I might have included onions. I combined two well known Italian recipes, one for Ribollita (a thick Tuscan soup) and pappa al’pomodoro (a sweet tomato-based soup), into one mash-up with apples and curry that came out unexpectedly fabulous. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese!
- Day-old French bread
- 1 can Cannellini beans, with their liquid
- Parmesan cheese
- Leeks (2, chopped)
- Celery (2-3 stalks, chopped)
- Carrots (1 or 2, chopped)
- I can diced tomatoes (use fresh if available)
- I large granny smith apple, cubed (unpeeled)
- 1 minced garlic clove
- Kosher Salt
- Curry powder
- 2 bay leaves
- Red pepper flakes or cayenne
- Almond milk (eyeball to achieve desired consistency of soup)
- Veggie broth (1 can)
- Olive oil & Butter (eyeball it to sautee the garlic)
Melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the garlic, celery and leeks until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes over medium heat. You don’t need onion with all that flavor from the garlic and leeks!
Add the almond milk to taste at the end, when the soup is on low. You don’t really want to let the almond milk boil up. If the soup looks too thick, add a teeny bit more almond milk or water; don’t forget it’ll thicken even more as it cools. Test to make sure the carrots are cooked through; add seasonings to taste, and you’re done.
Top it with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
A few tips:
- The flavors blend together even better as leftovers. Eaten the next day, I think this soup actually improves.
- If you have it, a drizzle of good-quality olive oil will make an excellent topping here with the cheese. As for cheese, try parmesan, pecorino, or both. They’re each just salty enough.
- If you don’t care for chunky soups, you can puree this to a smooth consistency using an immersion blender.
- Increase the heat by upping your quantity of red pepper flakes/cayenne, or even by throwing in some good hot sauce.
- The quantity of bread is very flexible. Tailor it to your liking and whatever you have on hand!