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.
I really did not like this soup. It was the consistency (not the flavor) that I didn't like. There was just way to starch for me. I made Tomato Basil Soup last weekend, and I put saltines in it. That was plenty "thick" for me.
I'll start off by saying I made a BIG change to this soup-- since I didn't have enough bread/needed some protein, I added a handful of red lentils brown lentils (they don't have much flavor on their own, and when you cook long enough, they will dissolve to practically nothing). I also added a spoon of tomato paste to boost the flavor a bit since the lentils may have diluted it a bit. Besides that, I changed nothing. The flavor and texture of this soup was really good! Perfect for this chilly night, and pretty easy to whip together!
I'll be making this sometime this weekend. I made bread that did not turn out right, but that I thought would be perfect for something like this.