Leftover Bread Soup

This recipe can be a base for using leftovers, or it can be a tomato and bread soup all on its own. The key is having good canned tomatoes and rock hard old bread. It helps if the bread was good before it got stale, too.

For the Soup Base
2 oz. EVOO
1/2 dry cayenne, torn up, or 1 t. chili flakes, more if you like spicy
3/4 oz. garlic, crushed
12 oz. yellow onions, medium dice
4 c. canned crushed tomatoes, home-canned if you have them
6 c. chicken broth, homemade if you have it
1 very stale baguette, broken into small pieces

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In this photo you see leftover roast chicken, a little leftover squash ragout, and a zucchini. These will be added at the end to use them up and turn the soup – which is tasty on its own – into a full meal.

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Heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the garlic, chili, and onion. Cook until the onion begins to take color. 012

Add the tomato and broth, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes and broth become one and the onions begin to break down. 016

Add the bread, and continue to simmer until the bread breaks down and becomes almost like little dumplings.

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You can either serve at this point with a little drizzle of EVOO, or add a bunch of leftovers to make a stewish dish.

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Happy dining!

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About david@davidgingrass.com

David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.