Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
From The Garlic Book by Susan Belsinger and Carolyn Dille. This soup was a revelation. Using all fresh ingredients makes ALL the difference. (esp. the basil and mint!) It was amazing hot and fresh, even better days later, and just as good picking at it cold straight from the fridge. (Serve hot, warm, cold, or at room temperature.) Could not stop eating it -- so simple, yet blew me away. Follow the recipe exactly!
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 small dried red chili pepper
- 3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1⁄2 lbs red ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons shredded basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon shredded mint leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 4 cups vegetable stock or 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 lb day- or two-day-old country whole wheat loaf bread
- extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Pound the peeled garlic cloves and the dried chili in a mortar and pestle until they are well crushed. Heat the olive oil in a large noncorrodible saute pan or soup pot over low heat. Add the garlic and chili and soften over low heat for about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, basil, and mint and stir and cool over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
- While the stock is heating, cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes or tear it into bite-sized pieces. When the stock comes to a boil, add the bread all at once. Stir well over medium heat until all the bread is moistened with the liquid.
- Cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let the soup stand for about an hour before serving. Taste the soup for seasoning and stir well. Serve the soup in bowls drizzled with a little olive oil. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan.