Savory Bread Pudding with Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach

You've never had our challah like this before

We miss bringing in special guests to BAKE! in-person, so, throughout this year, in addition to virtual classes and events, we’re bringing chefs, authors, and friends of the Bakehouse to your kitchens via recipes that use Bakehouse breads or freshly milled flours, or that put their own spin on one of the recipes found in our cookbook or cookbooklets.

This month, we’re welcoming Kieron Hales, Managing Partner and Executive Chef of Zingerman’s Corman Farms:

tomato soup bread pudding

I’ve been cooking since I was 13 years old and have lived and worked in 27 different countries. I love sharing those experiences with others through recipes that are meaningful to me; hopefully, they become meaningful recipes for you, too, and ones that you’ll make again and again.

Today, I’m sharing recipes that I recently taught in a virtual cooking class on International Stop Food Waste Day. I enjoy teaching others how a simple delicious tomato soup can be “upcycled” into multiple meals, like a savory bread pudding. I made mine with a loaf of Bakehouse Challah, but you can use Farm bread instead if you’d like a firmer bread pudding.

First up, the tomato soup:

Tomato Soup

Servings: 2 quarts

Equipment

  • Heavy-bottom pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Small coffee grinder
  • Vitamix or other blender

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (70 g) olive oil
  • 1 medium (300 g) red onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons (30 g) Kosher salt
  • 10 sprigs (10 g) thyme
  • 13 cloves (47 g) garlic, puréed
  • 4 1/2 pounds (2029 g) canned peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups (366 g) white wine
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sherry

Instructions

  • Place a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
  • Add the oil and onions to the pan and cook for 5 - 8 minutes until onions are tender and translucent.
  • Meanwhile, roughly chop the fresh thyme and place in a small coffee grinder with the salt. Blend until it forms into a salt consistency again (if you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can pick the thyme and roughly chop the leaves).
  • Add this to the onions and simmer for 3 - 4 minutes.
  • Add puréed garlic to the pan and cook for an additional 5 - 8 minutes.
  • Roughly chop the canned tomatoes and add these (including the juice) to the onions. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the white wine and sherry. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Pour into a Vitamix or blender and blitz for 10 seconds on high speed.
  • Serve!

full pan of tomato soup bread pudding

And then, the bread pudding:

Savory Bread Pudding

Equipment

  • Heavy bottom pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Medium bowl
  • Whisk
  • 9 x 13 inch seasoned cast iron casserole
  • Parchment paper / greaseproof paper
  • Tin foil

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (70 g) olive oil
  • 1 medium (300 g) onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks (1 cup / 110 g) diced celery
  • 8 pieces (195 g) smoked bacon, roughly chopped
  • 10 (36 g) garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs (4 g) fresh rosemary
  • 1 (4 g) bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup (200 g) red wine
  • 2 tablespoons (36 g) Dijon mustard
  • 4 cups (880 g) tomato soup
  • 1 cup (220 g) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (220 g) milk
  • 4 (215 g) eggs
  • 4 (90 g) egg yolks
  • 1 quart (160 g) spinach, roughly chopped
  • 6 sprigs (8 g) oregano, leaves picked off
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf challah, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) butter
  • 1 cup (110 g) grated Parmesan

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Place a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
  • Add oil and onions and celery to the pan and cook for 5 - 8 minutes until onions are tender and translucent.
  • Add to roughly chopped bacon and cook for a further 3 - 4 minutes
  • Add the pureed garlic and cook 2 minutes
  • Meanwhile, roughly chop the picked rosemary, bayleaf and place in a small coffee grinder with the kosher salt. Blend until it forms into a salt consistency again, or pick the rosemary and bay leaf then roughly chop
  • Add this to the onion mix and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Now add the Worcestershire sauce, red wine, and Dijon and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Now add the tomato soup, cream, and milk and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
  • Whisk the eggs and yolks together, then add two cups of the sauce to the eggs, and whisk, then add this back to the pot and give a good mix.
  • Now add the roughly chopped spinach, picked oregano, salt, and pepper, and mix really well
  • Now butter the 9 x 13 inch baking casserole.
  • Then cut the parchment to fit in the bottom of the pan.
  • Now ladle two cups of sauce into the bottom of the pan.
  • Dip the slices of bread in the sauce, covering each slice, then place in the pan. Repeat this until the bottom has been fully covered using half the bread. Now ladle over ½ the sauce
  • Dip the remaining slices of bread in the sauce covering each slice then place in the pan repeat this until the second layer is finished and all the bread is used.  Now ladle over the remaining sauce.  Allow the bread pudding to soak for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Butter the tin foil, then make a double pleat. Cover the bread pudding and place in the pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Now remove the pan from the oven and remove the tin foil and sprinkle with the parmesan then place back in the oven and bake for a further 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
tomato soup bread pudding lodge pan
Photo by Yulia Brown, courtesy of Cornman Farms

Hungry for more?

  • Cornman Farms’ virtual classes have gone on a brief hiatus during their busy wedding season, but they plan to bring them back in the late fall. To stay up to date on farm happenings please sign up for their e-newsletter at the bottom of this page here.
  • Find virtual and in-person cooking and baking classes from BAKE!, Zingerman’s Bakehouse’s hands-on teaching bakery, here.
  • Find more recipes that we’ve shared on our blog, here.
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Chef Kieron Hales’ career began in England at the age of 13, when he was accepted into the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. Since then, Kieron has lived and cooked in 27 different countries. His bona fides include working at the three Michelin star Paul Bocuse in France and Dal Pescatore in Italy, as well as cooking for the British Royal family and three U.S. Presidents. In 2008, Kieron emigrated to the United States to join Zingerman’s and pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations. After a few years as Executive Chef of Zingerman’s Roadhouse, he opened Zingerman's Cornman Farms. In addition to his chef’s hat, Kieron wears many other hats as he brings his vision for our farm to life. He takes great pride in curating his beloved door yard garden, creating seasonal menus, teaching cooking classes, guiding farm tours, providing personal service to our guests, mentoring his team, and sharing his love and knowledge of food with everyone he encounters. Meet him and you’ll see: Kieron’s zest for life, and specifically for food, is contagious.

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Ann

I’m a salt-oholic, but even to me, the amounts here seem high. 3 tablespoons in the soup?