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Italian Vegetable Soup with Cheese Bread

Italian Vegetable Soup with Cheese Bread

Imagine it’s a cold winter night. At least I have to imagine, ‘cuz here in NY it’s a ridiculous 60+ degrees, people are sauntering outside in T-shirts, and I’m shvitzing in my black turtleneck sweater. (It’s the only thing that fits since I had the baby. I was really counting on cold weather.) Ok, so let’s imagine that there’s frost on the windowpane and that Hubby just built a cozy fire in the fireplace. (As long as I’m imagining, let’s really go for it.)

Since we’re pretending, we might as well cook up a hearty winter meal. Italian Vegetable Soup (spiked with orzo and pesto) and served with cheese bread is the perfect tomato-ey comfort food for a cold winter’s eve, and even for an annoyingly warm November day. Soup is one of my favorite foods, and the Italian Veggie soup is what I fix when I’m “watching” what I eat: that’s when I hold the orzo and the cheese bread. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 to 6 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5-ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 8 slices baguette or Italian loaf
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup store bought pesto


Heat olive oil in a medium pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté 5 minutes. Add zucchini and garlic and sauté 4 more minutes. Add broth, beans, orzo, tomatoes and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 14 to 18 minutes or until orzo is cooked and vegetables are tender.

Preheat oven to a low broil.  Place sliced bread on a large sheet pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese on each slice of bread and broil on low until cheese is bubbly and bread is lightly browned.

To serve, ladle soup into 4 bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon pesto. Serve with cheese bread.