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Wasting food is one of our top pet peeves. That's why we asked chef and cookbook author Sara Moulton to share three things to do with an everyday staple that always seems to go bad sooner than we expect: bread. The dumplings in this light and healthy broth-based soup are a great way to rescue stale bread, in particular. Simply whiz it in the food processor and voila—homemade breadcrumbs! 

For more creative and delicious ideas that are the best thing since, well, sliced bread, check out Sara's Mushroom Rolls and Lemony Pear Turnovers


For the Bread Dumplings:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups packed fresh white or whole wheat breadcrumbs, plus more as needed
  • 2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the Soup:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ pounds leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch pieces, washed and drained
  • ½ pound small white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • ½ pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ pound shelled, blanched and peeled fresh fava beans or shelled fresh lima beans or 1 2/3 cups thawed frozen, or a combo
  • 1 cup shelled fresh or thawed frozen green peas
  • 1 ounce freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Serves: 4


For the bread dumplings, beat the eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Stir in the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley. If the batter seems too loose to roll into balls, add more breadcrumbs as needed. Roll into 12 balls and set aside. 

For the soup, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the leeks and cook 5 minutes or until they have softened. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and the broth, bring to a boil and simmer 3 minutes. Add the fava beans and peas and bring back to a simmer.  

Add the dumplings and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese. Taste and add salt, if desired. To serve, garnish with more grated cheese and some freshly ground black pepper.