As the days get cooler and cooler every day, my thoughts are turning again to soup. To get soup season started, I thought I’d do “Seven Days of Soup”, with a new soup recipe every day.
This soup is the perfect use for left-over, stale bread. It is thick and hearty enough for a meal.
Italian Cooked Bread Soup
4 oz. pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 can (28oz/796ml) diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups lightly packed, thinly sliced fresh greens (spinach, rapini, Swiss Chard)
2 thick slices stale Italian bread, chopped
3 Tbsp. freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
2 Italian sausages, cooked and sliced (optional)
Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
In a large saucepan, cook pancetta over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes or until beginning to turn golden. (*If the pancetta didn’t leave behind enough fat to cook the onion, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to pan before adding onion)
Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, onion, celery and parsley. Cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add greens and bread then simmer, stirring, for about 8 minutes or until greens are tender and bread is soft.
Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with cheese. Top with sliced sausages and drizzle with olive oil, if using.