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Bread Soup – A Quick and Easy Lunch

by | Dec 26, 2022 | Bread, Cook, Main Dish, Recipes

Learn how easy and versatile it is to make a basic bowl of bread soup with chicken, spinach, and onion. Then, modify the recipe to your own taste by adding parmesan or cheddar cheese, red pepper flakes, carrot, celery, basil leaves, and more.

Bread soup in a bowl with a spoon.

For those who have taken my Art of Homemade Bread Class, you may never have leftover bread. 

On that same token, inspiration may have struck you to have 5-minute no-knead bread dough to make multiple no-knead bread variations or reading about sourdough mistakes to avoid in order to bake the best Parkerhouse rolls

Whether you find yourself in a surplus of bread to use or looking for a frugal way to beat inflation at the grocery store, this recipe has got you covered. 

Bread Soup in Our Home

Bread soup is a perfect example of how homesteading can save you money on food

Here on the homestead, we implement many strategies to cut our food bill, such as buying and storing food staples in bulk, growing a large-scale garden, raising our own meat, eating seasonally, and cooking from scratch.

Wasting food is not an option in our home. Our kitchen scraps go to our egg-laying chickens, or we make our own compost. However, we prioritize anything we can use for the family. Bread soup is one of the ways we ensure that we are using the resources we already have on hand.

A woman pouring boiling water from a kettle over torn bread pieces.

The History of Bread Soup

I first learned of bread soup when I was studying Civil War recipes. Bread soup nourished and sustained the soldiers when there was nothing left to eat. 

At that time, all bread soup was made of was stale, dried up crusty bread and boiling water mixed to create a porridge or gruel, which did not sound very appetizing.

Today there are many different forms like plain bread soup, chicken bread soup, and Tuscan bread soup, also called Pappa al Pomodoro, made with Tuscan tomatoes. 

We have found that this bread soup recipe is a great way to use leftover odds and ends of our homemade bread like the heels. 

Homesteading Hack: Collect pieces of bread in a bag and store them in the freezer until you have enough to make a quick and easy bread soup lunch. 

A woman in the kitchen with ingredients for bread soup.

Supplies

  • Pot – A large pot is needed to mix and cook your soup. I prefer a heavy-bottomed cast iron dutch oven to cook the soup and keep it warm for a long time.
  • Spatula – You will need a utensil to stir the soup to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Stove – A simple heat source is needed to saute your vegetables and bring the bread soup to a boil. During the winter months, we like to cook this on the wood stove.
A woman stirring a pot on the stove.

Ingredients

Bread soup takes just a few ingredients, and you will have a delicious and healthy lunch in just a few minutes. Remember, simply bread and water will create a soup, but follow the recipe below for a soup that’s not only hearty and filling, but also delicious.

  • Bread – Bread is the heart of bread soup. You can use any type of stale bread, store-bought white bread, homemade sourdough rolls, leftover pizza crust, heals, or even fresh bread.
  • Onion – Onions will add flavor to the soup and are known to be great immune boosters. Learn how to grow onions from seed to make this recipe even more frugal. 
  • Chicken – If you can, I highly recommend raising your chickens for meat. I always try to have chicken pre-cooked and shredded for quick meals like this. Homestead Hack: You can cook, shred and freeze chicken meat for quick and easy meals like this. Simply add your frozen chicken to the pot and heat until warmed through.
  • Spinach – Spinach is a green you can grow all year. Fresh spinach adds color, flavor and vitamins to this soup. Spinach is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium. Plus, it always tastes great when it’s fresh from the garden.
  • Olive Oil – An excellent healthy fat is needed to saute the onions, chicken and spinach so I use olive oil. You could also use butter, lard, or tallow, especially if it is homemade butter or your own rendered lard or tallow.
  • Chicken Broth – Instead of using plain boiling water, I use my homemade canned chicken broth to add flavor, and of course, the best reason is that it is full of immune-boosting properties. You could also use good quality beef or vegetable stock if you don’t have chicken broth.
  • Salt & Black Pepper – I always add a little salt and black pepper for extra flavoring. 
A woman pouring bone broth into a pot.

How to Make Bread Soup

  1. Take bread scraps out of the freezer and cube the bread.
  2. Pull pre-cooked chicken out and shred it.
  3. Dice a whole onion. 
  4. Place a pot on the stove over medium heat and put 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the pan.
  5. Transfer the diced onions to the pot and saute until the onion is translucent.
  6. Add chicken and spinach to the pot. Let the spinach wilt down slowly.
  7. Add chicken broth and throw the bread cubes into the soup. The bread will start breaking down and thicken the soup right up. 
  8. While the bread is breaking down, continue occasionally stirring with the spatula so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.
  9. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Once the soup comes to a boil, take it off the burner and serve. Top it with parmesan or cheddar cheese if desired.

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. Then snap a photo and tag us on social media @homesteadingfamily so we can see!

Bread soup in a bowl with a spoon.

Bread Soup Recipe

Learn how easy and versatile it is to make a basic bowl of bread soup with chicken, spinach, and onion. Then, modify the recipe to your own taste by adding parmesan or cheddar cheese, red pepper flakes, carrot, celery, basil leaves, and more.
No ratings yet
Print Pin
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 117kcal
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bread stale
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 1 cup chicken cubed or shredded
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter, lard, etc.
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Take bread scraps out of the freezer and cube the bread.
  • Pull pre-cooked chicken out and shred it.
  • Dice a whole onion.
  • Place a pot on the stove over medium heat and put 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the pan.
  • Transfer the diced onions to the pot and saute until the onion is translucent.
  • Add chicken and spinach to the pot. Let the spinach wilt down slowly.
  • Add chicken broth and throw the bread cubes into the soup. The bread will start breaking down and thicken the soup right up. 
  • While the bread is breaking down, continue occasionally stirring with the spatula so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.
  • Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once the soup comes to a boil, take it off the burner and serve. Top it with parmesan or cheddar cheese if desired.

Notes

  • Collect pieces of bread in a bag and store them in the freezer until you have enough to make a quick and easy bread soup lunch.
  • You can cook, shred and freeze chicken meat for quick and easy meals like this. Simply add your frozen chicken to the pot and heat until warmed through.

Nutrition

Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 960mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 727IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.

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