Bread Soup with Spring Vegetables

Do you ever wind up with leftover, stale bread that you don't quite know what to do with? Maybe you don't have time to make French toast in the morning, or you're not really a breadcrumb/crouton kind of person, or bread pudding just sounds too heavy. One great option is to throw leftover chunks of bread into a soup. The Italians are famous for doing this in ribollita, a simple, traditional peasant dish. I did something similar last night, a recipe from this month's Everyday Food magazine (you gotta love Martha, right?) - it's a nice light springtime version, brothy and full of veggies.

If you're saving some of the soup for the next day, add the bread individually to the bowls at serving time instead of to the pot all at once when you first make the soup, as the recipe directs. That way the bread won't get soggy.

Bread Soup with Spring Vegetables
From Everyday Food
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 medium zucchinis, half lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1-2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • A few slices of day-old crusty bread, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Roughly chopped fresh parsley, for serving
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add zucchini and thyme and cook until thyme is fragrant, 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high, add broth and 1 cup water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add peas and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove thyme stems, stir in bread, and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top with parsley.