Recently I featured a recipe on TV and then in my column for Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Soup. The amount of positive feedback I received from this recipe was overwhelming to say the least. One of the requests I received within this feedback was for a vegetarian version of this soup, and it is with this column I am happy to oblige.
Now let’s be honest: I can’t think of anything vegetarian that would replicate the flavour of sausage, but I guess if you are vegetarian you more than likely don’t want that flavour anyway. This recipe otherwise is very reminiscent to the original one.
This recipe is extremely easy and screams “classic Italian.” Vegetarian or not, I think this finished dish at your next dinner party will be a splash (figuratively, hopefully not literally).
Rustic Italian Bread Soup
My version of a classic bread soup. Very simple, but very delicious!
500g loaf of bread (crusty Italian or sourdough), cut in large cubes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
A few grinds of black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small/medium onion, diced small
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
796ml can of diced tomatoes
900ml tetra pack of vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
Parmiggiano Regianno cheese, grated or shaved, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the bread cubes with the 1/4 cup olive oil, dried basil, dried oregano, 1 tsp salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes until golden (like large croutons). Set aside.
2. Heat a pot over medium heat. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil, onion, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, while stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion and garlic are soft.
3. Add the can of diced tomatoes and cook for another two to three minutes over medium heat.
4. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
5. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh basil, sugar, and salt.
6. Divide the baked bread cubes into eight soup bowls. Ladle an equal amount of soup into each bowl over the bread cubes. Garnish with the Parmiggiano and serve immediately.
Makes eight portions
Send questions to Chef Dez at www.chefdez.com, email@example.com or P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6R4