Fagioli a Zuppa over Bread

February 29, 2024

are hearty, comforting and packed with protein, but they’re kind of time-consuming to make from scratch. Luckily, canned beans can be easily substituted for maximum convenience. Case in point: the fagioli a zuppa over bread from Laura Vitale’s new cookbook, .

“Both of my grandparents came from very humble beginnings,” writes Vitale. “Their parents relied on ingredients like potatoes, lentils and beans, which were relatively inexpensive, could be stretched and reused over multiple meals and left everyone feeling satisfied…They would choose a bowl of this braised bean soup over a any day of the week, and we kids loved to eat it right along with them.”

A generous dose of dried oregano and fresh basil infuses every drop of this traditional peasant dish with an herbaceous aroma, while charred bread makes the soup doubly filling (without making much more work for the chef).

Reprinted with permission from At My Italian Table by Laura Vitale, copyright © 2024. Photographs by Lauren Volo. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

1. In a heavy-bottomed medium pot, combine the beans, 8 cups water, the tomato, celery, onion, oregano, olive oil and basil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Remove the onion halves and use a wooden spoon to gently mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. Season with salt as needed.

3. Place a couple pieces of charred bread—torn or whole—in the bottom of each bowl. Spoon over some of the beans and top them with a drizzle of olive oil and a couple cracks of black pepper. Serve warm.

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