Tomato and Bread Soup with Basil

This can be enjoyed year-round by using good quality canned tomatoes.

Tomato and Bread Soup with Basil

Recipe for 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Suitable for freezing

1 large onion
1-2 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves
4 oz. water
2 lb. ripe tomatoes*
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or dried equivalent)
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups vegetable stock            
1 tsp. sugar
6 oz. day old country Italian or
To Serve: olive oil, Parmesan cheese, basil springs
    French bread

1.  Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic; roughly chop the tomatoes.  Heat half the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and fry for 5  minutes until softened.

2.  Add the tomatoes, stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the stock and sugar.  Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, cut the bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.  Mix the vinegar with water and remaining oil.  Pour over the bread and toss well until all the bread is slightly moistened.

4.  Using a blender or food processor, purée the soup with the bread in batches, until smooth.  Return the soup to the pan.  Add the chopped basil and seasoning to taste.  Heat through; the soup should be thick.

5.  To serve, top each portion with a drizzle of olive oil, shavings of Parmesan and basil.

* Canned plum tomatoes can be used; two 400 g (14 oz) cans in place of 2 lb. fresh.

Photo courtesy Ole Palnatoke Anderson, Creative Commons License.

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