Tomato and Bread Soup

This was once the porridge of Tuscany. Make sure the tomatoes and basil are fresh, the bread stale, and the garlic lavish. Serve it at room temperature. We like it with extra chopped basil on top.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
  • cup Berta’s Chicken Stock or canned broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 5 slices day-old sourdough bread, sliced diagonally ¼ inch thick
  • Chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and shallots, and cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, basil, stock, and salt and pepper. Stir, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Tear the bread into 1 inch pieces and add them to the soup. Let it cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the chopped basil and Parmesan cheese.