Fagioli a Zuppa over Bread

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Thanks to canned beans, this soul-soother comes together in less than one hour.
fagioli a zuppa over bread recipe: pot of fagioli a zuppa with a ladle and a bowl of fagioli a zuppa with a spoon
Lauren Volo/At My Italian Table

Beans are hearty, comforting and packed with plant-based 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, At My Italian Table.

“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 steak 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.


Two 15½-ounce cans kidney or borlotti beans, drained and rinsed

1 vine-ripened tomato, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 small yellow onion, peeled and halved through the root (root end left intact)

1½ teaspoons dried Italian oregano, finely crushed by hand

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

3 large fresh basil leaves

Kosher salt, to taste

8 slices charred bread, for serving

Freshly ground black pepper, for serving


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.

Nutrition Facts
  • 390 calories

  • 7g fat

  • 63g carbs

  • 18g protein

  • 9g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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