This is a stick-to-your-ribs soup that is homey and delicious. You not only economize with this recipe by using up your stale bread deliciously, you also prepare an international treat that few know about and really needs more recognition. Please note that this could easily be turned into a vegetarian recipe by using vegetable broth.
- Sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil with the chili pepper until the garlic has lightly browned and the onion is just getting golden; add the tomato; season with salt; add half the basil leaves torn into tiny pieces; crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon and stir; cook until the tomatoes fall apart (about 20 minutes).
- Put the bread into the sauce; the bread will soak up the sauce and it will get quite thick; add enough stock to soften the bread and to make it liquidy; add the remaining basil and cook until the bread becomes a kind of mush (this is called'pappa').
- Serve, sprinkling with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over each serving.