Authentic Tuscan hearty winter bread soup recipe and instructions straight from Italy.
Soup, Tuscan Bread Recipe
Peel two whole garlic cloves and cut a bunch of fresh basil leaves into small ribbons.
In a soup pot, saute' the basil and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes to extract the flavor. Remove the garlic cloves.
Add the tomato puree and water or stock and heat almost to a boil.
Cut the stale bread into 1-inch cubes and add to the soup, stirring well. Most of the bread will melt into the sauce but some lumps will remain.
Season to taste with a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Continue stirring until the soup is hot through. Serve hot with a sprig of fresh basil on top.
As variations, you can add sliced onions to the saute and crush or chop the garlic and leave it in the soup.
You can also use fresh or canned whole tomatoes if you want to puree them yourself.
Bread soup pairs well with a medium-bodied or light full-bodied red wine. However, the soup has a fairly high acid content because of the tomato puree, so a softer, not-overly-tannic wine like Merlot works best (Miles’ opinion notwithstanding).