January 18, 2010

Italian Bread and Cheese Soup. Delizioso!

Bread, cheese, garlic, basil, soup? How can you go wrong? Simple...you can't!

This is another hit from the Moosewood Cookbook. They say that this soup is a quintessential supper for many Italian families, and I can see why. It's easy to throw together, but has a comforting and homey flavor. Enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 TBS olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 quart vegetable broth
4 oz Fontina, Gruyere or grated Parmesan cheese (the original recipe said cheddar would be okay, so that's what I tried first, but it was too gummy. Parm works much better!)
4 slices whole wheat breat
1/4 cup chopped basil
black pepper
1 onion, diced (my addition)

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add onion if using, and cook until golden and soft. Stir in garlic and cook until just golden - not brown! Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, grate the cheese (unless you're lazy like me and used a bag of pre-shredded Parm cheese!)

When you're ready to serve the soup, toast your bread. Yes, it will get soggy, but the toasting adds a great flavor. Break each slice into bite-sized pieces and place into individual soup bowls. Cover with about 1/4 cup grated cheese, and sprinkle with basil and black pepper. Ladle about a cup of hot soup over the bread and cheese, then serve immediately.