Saturday, February 06, 2010

Vegetable Bread Soup

Today's recipe is a Friday night fridge-cleaning special. I had several dried shriveled crusts and end-chunks of bread sitting in the fridge for a week. For a moment there, I was tempted to sigh and toss them out. But truthfully, food waste is the most regretful and avoidable thing of all, and stale bread, no matter how dried out, has infinite potential to be recycled into good food.

As a kid, my favorite part about going to a restaurant was the chance to start the meal with tomato soup, and it was not the tomato soup that was so attractive but the croutons floating on it.  These were deep-fried cubes of bread, and strictly rationed to about 4-5 croutons per bowl of soup. The taste of bread soaking in soup is still something I love, and that's how this soup came about.

Vegetable Bread Soup

1. Heat 1-2 tbsp. butter in a heavy pot. 

2. Saute in the butter until translucent and sizzling:
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed

3. Add 1 tbsp. flour and stir it in until toasty and lightly browned. 

4. Add the following, then simmer until vegetables are tender:
2-3 carrots, cut in large dice
2 cups tomatoes
2 cups water
a shake of dried basil
a shake of dried oregano

5. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Taste and adjust the salt, add some sugar if the soup is too tangy.

6. Add chunks of dried bread and simmer for a couple more minutes.

7. Serve with shredded cheese or a swirl of cream if desired. 

Fresh off the needles
A hostess gift for my downstairs neighbor who invited us to "burrito night" a couple of days ago- a bottle of wine wearing its own cozy hat and scarf. The pattern is here: chilled wine garb.

I'll leave you with a few links-

A post that made me gasp with admiration, "food as art": Naksha Bori

A post that made me LOL: Haikus on food you are ashamed to eat

In case any of you lives in Chicago and wants something delicious to do on Wednesday nights: Soup & Bread 

Oh, and I'm on twitter (username: Nupur_OHS), trying to be the silliest twit I can be! If you are on there, come say hello. 

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. first of all, congrats on turning five.. o my we are getting up there in age, arent' we!!
    anyway, hope u are on ur feet now and here is to a lot more blogging. thanks for the vote on "Road".. i picked it up and was hesitant to read it..but now i will.

  2. Hi.....Nupur,

    Tomato soup or to be more precise the bread croutons were and still are my favourite :))
    Vegetable Soup recipe is very interesting.... Must def. try it and the click's looking delicious....
    The scarf and cozy hat are too cute for words......
    I agree....Sayantani's Naksha Bori left me speechless.....
    I thought i saw you on Twitter but thought it could be someone with the same name....:))

  3. Totally liked your idea of using Stale Bread; I normally use it in some patties , tomato omlete or even thalipeeth :D

  4. never heard of this...looks delicious..i m a bread person

  5. Tomato soup & croutons!!, yes, that's what exactly I was doing, soup is delicious, I too use the left over breads in different ways!, btwn, I made your amti masala, I love maharastrian food, I have asked my sister who is in poona to send me some masala powders, I have put it in a jar and used it already in one of my dishes loved it, hoping to post it soon!!,

  6. I used to love tomato soup with croutons as a kid too (especially the just realised that I have a thing for anything crispy soaking in a soup-like liquid, including the afore mentioned croutons, chips in dal and even papadam soggy from soaking in Rasam/

    Oh and I think I added you on twitter ages ago..I'm @mayybeme.( I was just going to let you know that that was me- and then saw that you'd posted about tweeting in this blog post- coincidence!!). I wanted to make sure that you didn't think I was some random person replying to your tweets..:P (since my name is not on there)

  7. forgot to add- that scarf and hat are adorable!!

  8. Hey Nupur...

    I remember posting two comments in your previous post..may be I have not posted it properly...

  9. Looks great Nupur. I love more ideas for using stale bread. Thanks for linking to my post about the fundraiser!

  10. I had always enjoyed the croutons in the Soup...infact that was the reason, I used to have the Soup:) and still does... The soup looks really delicious!

  11. Nupur,

    Happy 5th to One Hot Stove!

    Looks like your scarf pattern is different from the one posted. What adaptations did you make? I like how yours lies flat on the bottle whereas stockinette tends to roll up.


  12. I loved the 4 'fried bread pieces' in Tomato soup ..I'd ask my mom (whisper)" ajun nahi ka denar? vichar na ga.."!

    I have some tomatoes going soft, I will try this!
    The wine cozy and scarf are adorable!

  13. Hi Nupur, Congrats on the blog turning 5! This soup looks delicious, a must try for me!

  14. don't I love the wine garb ....and the recipe is interesting as well.

  15. I have literally stopped having tomato soup outside because its so terrible now!
    But yes, when we did have tomato soup outside (remember Farmer Bros in Dadar TT?) I loved the croutons - so your veg bread soup seems perfect!

  16. Mallugirl- LOL yes we really are getting up there in age ;) but hopefully only getting better like fine wine, eh?

    Rujuta- Thanks, and yes, Sayantani's post left me speechless too!

    Kanchan- I love bread patties too :) but your idea of using it stale bread in thalipeeth and tomato omelets is very innovative!

    Trendsetters- Bread people will love this soup :)

    jayasri- Glad you were able to get your hands on some amti masala! Having a sister in Poona will give you access to all sorts of Maharashtrian specialties.

    Lavanya- Oh, you said it! "crispy things dunked in soupy things" just about captures it :)
    I've been reading your tweets, glad we connected there.

    BDSN- Sorry, I don't know what happened but only one comment came through.

    gemma- I so wish I were in Chicago, your soup looks so good! I would have loved to contribute some soup to the project too :) what a great cause!

    Rachana Kothari- Yes, I enjoyed the croutons more than the soup too :)

    Shuba- Thanks! I did a 2x1 rib to minimize the rolling.

    Manasi- LOL I know the feeling of eating up the croutons and then wanting more!

    Radhika- Thanks for your wishes!

    Preeti Kashyap- Thank you.

    Miri- Even then I suspect the soup was heavily spiked with ketchup! Probably why it appealed to my palate :)

  17. Soup is looking so yummy. Congrats on your blog turning 5.

  18. Aww! I love the cute little cap on the bottle :D.. and the soup looks so scrumptious.


  19. I love stale bread in soup - and only last week I threw out some stale bread only then to want to soak it in my stew - if only I had read this earlier for a reminder of why I should never throw out stale bread

  20. and I forgot to say how cute that hat and scarf is - makes me want to be clever with knitting needles

  21. Hi Nupur,
    Tried this soup this weekend and was so pleased with myself!!! Please do post some recipes that can be packed for lunch. Tnx a lot...



The spammers are out in full force so I've had to turn word verification on! Thanks for leaving a comment- I read and respond to every single one.