Vegetable Soup with Corn Bread Croutons

The homemade croutons that top this hearty vegetable soup will entice your kids to give it a try.

Prep Time:
40 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Bake Time:
12 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
10 cups total soup


  • 1 recipe Corn Bread Croutons (see below)

  • 1 28 ounce can whole Italian-style tomatoes

  • 2 medium leeks, sliced or 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil

  • 1 8 ounce package fresh mushrooms, quartered

  • 1 large yellow or red sweet pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 cup water

  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained

  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 8 ounce spinach leaves (about 4 cups)

Corn Bread Croutons

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 8.5 ounce package corn muffin mix

  • cup finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese,

  • 2 tablespoon milk

  • Dash freshly ground black pepper

  • Dash coarse sea salt (optional)


  1. Prepare Corn Bread Croutons; set aside to cool.

  2. Remove tomatoes from can, reserving liquid. Coarsely chop tomatoes. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook leeks in hot oil over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, sweet pepper, and garlic; cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add water, tomatoes and canning liquid, cannellini beans, salt, and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in spinach; serve with Corn Bread Croutons. Makes 6 to 8 servings (about 10 cups total soup).

Corn Bread Croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 large baking sheets; set aside. In a medium bowl lightly beat egg. Add corn muffin mix, finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese, and milk. Drop into small mounds by scant teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet(s). Lightly sprinkle with pepper and, if desired, coarse sea salt. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet; let cool completely on a wire rack. Store Corn Bread Croutons in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 day or in the refrigerator up to 3 days (let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving). Makes about 28.

Cooking Club Directions:

Divide cooked mushrooms, sweet pepper, and garlic, among 3-quart storage containers or freezer containers for each member. Into the same containers divide water, undrained tomatoes, beans, salt, and black pepper. Divide Corn Bread Croutons among members; place in resealable plastic bags or freezer bags. If refrigerating, divide spinach in plastic bags. If freezing, spinach should be purchased at preparation time. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Test Kitchen Tip:

This recipe can be made in double batches in a 6-quart Dutch oven or kettle.

Reheating and Serving:

Thaw frozen Corn Bread Croutons and soup for 48 hours in refrigerator, if necessary. Transfer thawed or refrigerated soup to a 4-quart Dutch oven. Bring soup just to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in spinach.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

345 Calories
11g Fat
52g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 345
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 933mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 93.9mg 469%
Calcium 212mg 16%
Iron 4.7mg 26%
Potassium 771mg 16%
Folate, total 84.7mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.