We often pack a picnic and go hiking in the afternoon. Lately I’ve been bringing sandwiches that are a meal on their own. I take sourdough bread, hollow it out, and stuff it with all sorts of good stuff. The only problem was what to do with all the soft part of the bread. This soup, inspired by a classic Italian recipe, came to the rescue. It’s good warm or at room temperature; perfect for a hot summer evening.
Sun Oven Summer Tomato Bread Soup
1 pound country-style bread, crusts trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled, seed and chopped
1 fresh sage leaf, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 to 4 cups broth, vegetable or chicken
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. Spread out on a tray and dry, uncovered, overnight.
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
In a large pot, combine the oil and the garlic. Stir in the bread and the tomatoes. Stir the tomato paste into one cup of the broth. Add that broth along with another two cups to the pot.
Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven.
Cook until the the flavors have blended, 1 1/2 t0 2 hours. Remove from Sun Oven. If soup is too thick stir in additional hot broth. Stir in the vinegar.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Let the soup rest, covered, for about an hour. Reheat gently or serve at room temperature. Garnish each serving with basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
Makes 4 servings.