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Tomato and Bread Soup with Fresh Basil

Tomatoes are so packed with goodness, it’s a shame to toss them when they’re past their prime. This is a great use for overripe tomatoes as well as stale bread. This rustic soup looks beautiful with a light sprinkling of grated mozzarella or Parmesan on top.

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices slightly stale artisan-style whole-wheat bread, each
      about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick, cubed
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 lb. (1.5 kg) tomatoes, cored, diced and juices reserved
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) torn fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and lightly toasted, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the broth, and season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir the croutons and basil into the soup and simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to break up the bread. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014).