Tomato & Stale Bread Soup
A Recipe from Sneaky Kitchen
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 to 6 slices of bacon
1 large onion, minced
1 large stalk of celery with a few leaves, minced
1 tablespoon of flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz can of crushed or pureed tomatoes
28 oz of water (use the can to measure)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried or ground oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
2 cups stale or dry French bread, Kaiser roll or similar bread, cubed
black pepper, hot pepper and/or salt to taste
If bread isn't completely dry, cube & spread on cookie sheet in a 300°F oven while preparing soup. Put 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pot & add bacon. Stir occasionally over med. heat until nearly crisp. Drain fat well. Add 1 more Tbsp. olive oil. Add minced onion & celery & sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is nearly transparent. Add flour & continue to cook until flour is light beige in color. Add minced garlic & cook for another minute; be sure the mixture doesn't brown beyond dark beige.
Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes little by little to combine with flour. Add water, tomato paste, basil, oregano & 1 Tbsp. sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer, covered, for 15 min. Taste, add salt or pepper if desired, & another Tbsp.of sugar if soup is still too acid. Add bread cubes, stir just to mix, & simmer another 5 to 10 min. on very low heat until bread is soft but not mushy.
Soup may be served as is, with a dollop of low fat sour cream or sprinkled with small cubes of reduced fat cheese. Garnish with a little more shredded fresh basil if your family enjoys that herb. Cool leftovers, then puree in a blender or food processor for thicker soup the next day.