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Venetian Bread Soup

Venetian Bread Soup 6.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Feb 19, 2018

There are no tomatoes in this soup, unlike its more famous kin, the Tuscan pappa al pomodoro. But there is a slight Eastern influence in the use of warming spices, prevalent in Venetian cooking.

If you can, use bread from the bakery (or bakery department) rather than a packaged brand off the shelf, to keep the level of sodium close to what was originally intended.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings; makes 7 1/2 cups

  • 5 ounces country-style white bread (see headnote)
  • 5 1/2 cups meat broth or stock (chicken or beef)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, chopped
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Tear the bread into craggy pieces and spread them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake (middle rack) for about 30 minutes, until toasted and somewhat dried. Transfer to a large saucepan.

Pour in 4 1/2 cups of the broth or stock; let soak (off the heat) for about 15 minutes. Once the bread has absorbed the liquid, add the butter, garlic and bay leaf, and cook over low heat.

Add the chopped pine nuts and the remaining cup of broth or stock; taste and season lightly with salt and pepper, as needed, keeping in mind that Parm will be added later. Gradually increase the heat just to bring the liquid to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes; during that time, use a whisk to beat it as often as you can; this will further break down any remaining pieces of bread. Discard the bay leaf.

Lightly beat the eggs with the cheese, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl.

Once the soup is done (it will be fragrant but not smooth), remove from the heat. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then whisk in the egg mixture. Taste and add more salt, as needed. Serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Classic Food of Northern Italy,” by Anna Del Conte (Pavilion, 2017).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 210

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 14g 22%

Saturated Fat: 7g 35%

Cholesterol: 120mg 40%

Sodium: 840mg 35%

Total Carbohydrates: 13g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 9g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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