If you can’t get to Tuscany…warm up to a simple, hearty blend of tangy tomatoes, rustic bread and fresh herbs. This is a classic Italian dish which means to say – not at all fancy. It is all about simplicity and good ingredients. It’s worth splurging on richer olive oil for recipes like this and a chewy, unsalted white bread instead of whole wheat (which has a distinctive flavor that won’t marry well with the ingredients).
I just had a request for making a rich tomato soup. My friend and I were served a delicious sampling from a food truck after our run the other day & I forgot how good something like this can taste. Not reserved for only cold days. This is something I’ve made while camping (in the Eurovan). This delicious Tuscan recipe is originally from the popular restaurant I Sodi in New York (see below).
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped Fresh Basil
2 tsp. chopped Fresh Sage
1 ½ lb. ripe, peeled, seeded Tomatoes, chopped (about 5 medium)
3 slices day-old White Peasant Bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 cups Vegetable Stock (water is okay but I prefer the stock)
Olive oil & basil leaves for garnish
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, basil and sage, and cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bread and stock (or water). Return to boil and reduce heat. Stir, breaking up bread with the back of a wooden spoon. Let soup simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls, drizzle with additional olive oil and garnish with basil leaves.
A word from I Sodi
Rita Sodi grew up on a little farm North of Florence, Italy, and almost everything her family ate was made from the farm, prosciutto, salami, wine, vegetables…and this food was very important for the family. They were not allowed to miss any meal. Rita’s mother, Elena, always told her to drink wine because it “makes good blood” and do not eat Prosciutto without bread. When she finished art school she began to travel for her work in the clothing business and at that point she really started to appreciate the simplicity of her mother’s food and the way she cooked. For ten years she traveled from Florence, Italy to New York, Los Angeles, Asia and Australia. Year after year, wherever in the world Rita found a kitchen, she began to cooked her Mother’s food. Friends filled her kitchen and sat at her table, her passion was born.
Address: 105 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014
Neighborhood: West Village
Or: your own home