Sarah Gavigan learned this hearty soup from her Sicilian-born grandmother, who would often visit from Florida for a week at a time and who, Gavigan says, "filled the kitchen with magic." Nonna made use of whatever scraps were on hand in their middle Tennessee home, from collards and lima beans to a Parmesan rind, and insisted it was all "about the touch." Any winter greens work great, and you can use any type of bean.

Recipe by Southern Living February 2016


Credit: Robbie Caponetto

Recipe Summary

1 hr 10 mins
1 hr 30 mins
Makes 12 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cook first 3 ingredients in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. (Do not brown.)

  • Stir in red cabbage and next 5 ingredients, and cook over medium heat 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Stir in zucchini, next 4 ingredients, and 4 cups water.

  • Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Discard cheese rind. Stir in bread pieces 15 minutes before serving. Spoon into bowls, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil; sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Chef's Notes

This soup can be cooked a day in advance. It's always better the second day, so make a big batch.