Today's soup is another in the Panera Bread series. I think I pulled out three more that I would like to try, so a few more weeks to go. I love this soup, but please pay attention to the warning that will follow. The recipe is no longer available on the Panera Bread website, but I did find it here on Food.com It's a very simple soup to make and takes very little time. The ingredients are quite simple and most are things you would have on hand.
Country Bread and Tomato Soup with Mashed Basil Oil
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, packed
3/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (warning!! start with 1/4 tea. and work your way up)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 28-ounce cans of whole, peeled tomatoes(I used chopped fire roasted tomatoes)
1 quart water or vegetable stock
1/4 cup of dry red wine
Country white bread torn into bite size pieces
1. Mash the basil well with 1/2 cup of the oil and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
2. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
3. Cook the garlic, red pepper and oregano just until the garlic begins to sizzle.
4. Crush the tomatoes with your hands over the saucepan, making sure to include all of the juice.
5. Add the water or stock and red wine.
6. Bring to a boil.
7. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Stir in the bread and remove from heat.
9. Serve immediately, drizzling the soup generously with the mashed basil oil.For the country white bread I substituted a sourdough Asiago Peppercorn bread. It's great!