Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup with Kale.
This tuscan tomato bread soup is so good I could cry.
Forgive me because I’m putting bread IN your soup.
Just when I thought that I couldn’t love tomato soup more… oh my gosh.
This tomato bread soup is the coziest soup I have ever eaten. It’s super hearty. It’s packed with flavor. And it’s ridiculously satisfying.
And it’s not like I’m saying you SHOULDN’T make a grilled cheese with this, but what I’m saying is… you don’t even need it.
That means a lot coming from me. I’m like the grilled cheese queen. I live for them. So this is CRAZY.
A few years ago I made a tortilla soup that is actually thickened by tortillas. It remains one of my favorite recipes. So when I saw a recipe like this, I knew I had to try.
You add the bread directly to the soup and simmer it until it thickens the entire pot. It’s so… rich. Without any added cream or milk or cheese.
Sure, these IS some cheese (you add a parmesan rind – that’s my favorite thing ever!) and of course, the bread. But it’s such a soul-warming recipe, one that reheats fabulously and all around tastes SO GOOD that you won’t know what to do with yourself.
I’ll say it right now – Eddie is not a tomato soup person. You probably already know this, if only because the guy you’ve been reading about for a decade, the guy who had framed photos of WWE wrestlers hanging on his walls when I met him, has never been a serious soup lover. And I’ve all but skewered him here for it.
He loves a hearty, meaty chili or even chicken noodle soup – that’s about it.
This passed the Eddie test. It is so, SO hearty for a tomato soup. Honestly it feels more like a bean soup that a tomato soup, that is how packed it is! But the flavor is 100% tomato based and boy oh boy is it fantastic.
So here’s the deal.
You want to use a really good non-seedy, non-grainy bread! That was tricky for me because I actually only like grainy, seedy breads. I had to go out and find a great crusty italian loaf that would work here.
It’s amazing how the bread melts and dissolves into the soup, while also leaving just the slightest reminder that it is, in fact, bread that is doing the thickening. You know how occasionally you dunk a sandwich into soup, and a piece of the bread gets lost at the bottom until you’re almost finished, and you slurp it up with that last spoonful?
This is kind of like that, but in a really good way. Makes me so happy!
I’ve always loved the tradition of tomato soup with grilled cheese on Halloween night before trick or treating. This is this year’s contribution!
If you’re looking for more inspo, this is my most favorite ever tomato soup in shooter form with grilled cheese sticks. I’ve also made pumpkin bisque with grilled cheese croutons. And tomato cream pasta with grilled cheese crumbs! Oh yes.
Now we can have it all in one bowl.
Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup
Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup with Kale
- 1 pound dry white beans (navy, cannellini, etc) , soaked overnight
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup chopped or sliced carrots
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 14 ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 ½ cups crusty italian bread chunks
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 parmesan cheese rind
- 1 head tuscan kale, torn from stems and coarsely chopped
- To soak the beans overnight, place them in a large bowl or pot and cover them with a few inches of water. Drain the beans in the morning.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Stir in the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the carrots and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in the tomato paste, stirring to coat all the vegetables in the pot.
- Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable stock. Add the bread in chunks. Stir in the beans, parmesan cheese and parmesan rind. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cover it. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. If it is, reduce the heat!
- When the soup is finished, the bread will have mostly disintegrated into the soup. You can taste and season the soup here if you wish - add more salt and pepper if it doesn’t seem to have enough flavor. This step is important! All canned tomatoes can be different in salt quantities, so be sure to taste and adjust the flavor to your linking.
- 5 to 10 minutes before serving, stir in the kale. I love that the kale has a crisp chew and texture to it. If you prefer it to be softer and more wilted, you can add it in earlier or cook the soup a bit longer. The kale gets softer as it sits.
- Serve the soup with lots of grated parmesan for topping.
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
Craving a bite of this so badly.
33 Comments on “Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup with Kale.”
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The ingredients for this beautiful soup are being added to my grocery list as we speak. The only thing I’ll switch out is the canned tomatoes – I’ll use some from our garden that I roasted and froze. So for sure, I’ll have to check the seasonings and maybe adjust them. We love soup and using the bread for thickening is genius. I always save the rinds from parmesan so I have plenty of them in the freezer. Was thinking that this recipe could work also with Swiss Chard. Again, your photography is wonderful – SO makes me want to try a recipe when I know how it comes out looking. Thanks.
Could you make this with can beans instead?
I am going to try it. I will just start with less broth and see how it goes.
Whenever I use canned beans I always drain and rinse them first. Works fine.
This looks like the best thing to have on a cold night. So warm and comforting.
I can’t wait to make this next week! Not for Halloween night though, because every year we eat your autumn mac and cheese from 8 years ago on Halloween night!
I love soup and this looks delicious. I bet a good hit of smoked paprika would work really well here.
It’s fab that you are starting with dry beans! Bravooooo
I was introduced to this soup when we were in Florence and it is diviiiiiiine. I can’t wait to try to make it!
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This looks and sounds amazing! Do you think this will freeze well? I’d love to make a double batch and save some for busy nights in colder winter months!
Hi Jessica –
Your soup sounds awesome, and I plan to try it very soon (weather turning to winter … bbbrrr … soup season!) but I do have a question. Most dried beans not only need to be soaked, but also boiled before being added to a recipe. Trust me on this – I do a fair bit of cooking using dried beans, so ‘been there, done that’! In fact, been there, not boiled sufficiently and had very crunchy beans!! This recipe has the soaked beans being added directly into the soup, brought to a boil and then simmered for 30 – 40 minutes. Is that long enough to make the beans tender and not too crunchy? I can understand canned beans only needing 30 min or so, but it just seems rather short for the dried beans.
Your post also got me looking at other “bread soups” – lots of great ideas and recipes out there, so thanks very much for the ideas and inspiration!!
Wish I read your comment before making this. The soup tastes great except the beans are crunchy. Actually wish I’d just used canned beans. Otherwise, great flavor. I’ll definitely make this again and will use canned beans.
I think you’re totally right about this, especially since this is a tomato based soup and tomato is known to toughen dry beans. I can’t believe that the soaked beans would ever soften up without being pre-cooked.
Made this last night and the soup has amazing, deep flavors; however, as stated above, the beans were still ultra-crunchy. (And I let it go for probably 1h 30m instead of 30-40m. And they were STILL crunchy.) Please revise :)
Made this last night for dinner. So good!! This was really helpful stuff. I wish you luck as you continue to follow that passion.
I made this last night for a big group and it was a huge hit with everyone. I used canned beans instead of dried, and I bumped up the amount to two cans of beans + three cans of tomatoes. Super easy and super delicious!
Great flavor, took more like 2+ hrs to soften the dried pre-soaked beans, adding a fair amount of extra water to prevent sticking!
This turned out FABULOUS!! Due to other’s note about the beans, I precooked them and cut the recipe in half. It was excellent and will be on repeat ALL winter long! Thanks for sharing!!
We just enjoyed this soup for lunch. It was very hearty and satisfying. I soaked the Navy beans over night as directed. Then, I placed the ingredients in my Instapot and cooked for 47 minutes. Once the lid was lifted, I stirred in the kale and added a bit more salt. The beans were perfectly soft.
So glad I read the reviews first and made this with canned beans instead of dry. I hope others read the reviews since the recipe hasn’t been updated. (I also didn’t get a chance to buy a Parmesan rind and the soup still tastes great.)
I agree with previous posters that the cook time is not long enough. I let my soup simmer for about an hour and the beans were still somewhat hard. The flavors were delicious, but I think the cooking time should be adjusted.
This was SO GOOD!!!! It came together so easily! I used 2 cans of white beans instead of dry beans and only had to simmer it for 20 minutes before I added the kale. Really cut down on the time. Will definitely be adding this to my regular rotation of soups this winter.
Can this be frozen?
I was wondering this too! Did you try?
I did and yes it definitely can! I actually just took it out of the freezer yesterday and it tasted just as good!
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This was REALLY good. Made this tonight during quarantine and hoping that all the nutrition will help ward off coronavirus ;) But seriously, this recipe is a keeper! I did take another reviewer’s advice and used 2 cans of beans instead of dried. The recipe made enough for my husband and I to have dinner tonight and lunch for tomorrow, plus enough left to freeze for another day.
Can this be made in a slow cooker? I’ve done red beans and rice with dried red beans cooked on low for eight hours.
Just an FYI! In some places this is labeled Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup and in some it’s Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup. If it helps, it was the “Bread Soup” ones that attracted me ;-)
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