Gluten-Free Bread Crumb Soup

My grandmother was the by-product of the Great Depression and as such, her ability to use everything in her kitchen became a way of life for her that never ceased until she took her last breath. She could de-bone a chicken without leaving a single morsel of meat on the bones and she found ways to use left overs in extremely creative ways.

Rather than throw away the heels from her loaves of homemade bread, my grandmother would dry them out on her stove top over night, and then save them in a plastic bin in her cabinet  until she had enough to make one of my all-time favorite soups of hers–Bread Crumb Soup.

So simple, comforting and satisfying, it’s a soup I make throughout the winter and into the early spring because it’s very easy to make and costs practically nothing, especially if you are using your own chicken stock.  My mom always said it’s what our family lived on after Christmas so she could save up for all of our birthdays during the year (I am the youngest of five).

The name of this soup in of itself bespeaks the ingredients: breadcrumbs that have been ground with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to a fine powder, held together with a few farm fresh eggs.

Salt and pepper bring the flavors to life on your tongue and the homemade chicken stock make this very simple ‘poor man’s opera’ sing.

Please note that you will need the meat grinder attachment to your stand mixer to make the noodles, but once that is done, it’s easy as one, two, three.

Other Soup Recipes:

Gluten Free Breadcrumb Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken stock–preferably homemade
  • 2 cups (1 loaf) gluten free bread crumbs. I used crumbs from my gluten-free boule.
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour + more for dusting the noodles
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 3 large eggs
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions:

  1. Mix the bread, broken into large pieces with the Parmesan cheese until a very fine powder in a food processor with the blade attachment.
  2. Transfer the ingredients to the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the remaining dry ingredients and the shortening and mix on the lowest setting until you can no longer see the lard.
  3. Add the egg and lemon juice and mix on high until the dough folds in on itself.
  4. Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a few tablespoons of glutinous rice flour. You will hold this under the grinder as the noodles emerge.
  5. Force the dough, 1/2 cup at a time, through the meat grinder on your stand mixer, cutting the dough every inch into your prepared pan. Toss the noodles to coat in the glutinous rice flour. Repeat until all your dough is used.
  6. Bring your broth to a rolling boil and lower in the noodles using a spatula so the broth won’t splash up and burn you. When the noodles, float, and boil 1 minute, they are done.
  7. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and a sprig of parsley.

Karen is the author of the critically acclaimed gluten-free cookbook, Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free, and is the founder of the virtual bakery,  Blackbird Bakery.   Karen is known and admired by her peers for her inspirational speaking engagements, cooking classes, and innate knack for gluten-free recipe development.  She lives everyday dedicated to making gluten-free better than what came before in Austin, Texas, with her son Leo.  When life gives you lemons, make gluten-free lemon meringue pie!

Read all of Karen’s posts here.

5 Responses to Gluten-Free Bread Crumb Soup

  • Alta Mantsch says:

    I have never had a bread crumb soup, but love the simplicity of this! And I’m right there with your grandmother – hate to see food go to waste, so I’m using up every last bit whenever I can!

    [Reply]

    Karen Morgan Reply:

    @Alta Mantsch, My grandmother was such a huge inspiration for me, and even though she was poor her whole life she never once complained–she only looked for the silver lining–like this here soup. I hope you love it as much as I do!

    [Reply]

  • margot says:

    no experience w/ a meat grinder–could you make the noodles by hand (have never made noodles either)……..but soup sounds so good

    [Reply]

    Karen Morgan Reply:

    @margot, Hey Margot,

    You really need a meat grinder of some sort to make this pasta. It’s really difficult to make by hand as the noodles are very thin, but if you have the patience, I say, go for it!

    [Reply]

  • Sara says:

    My grandmother grew up Amish, and she always made us “Poor Man’s Soup” – large chunks of stale bread, white kidney beans, salt, pepper, milk and water. Sounds so boring and bland but it is still one of my favorite comfort foods and wonderful when you’re feeling sick! This one sounds delish too.

    [Reply]

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