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Here's an easy and quick recipe from the Sneaky Kitchen that's full of flavor, antioxidants, lycopene and stale leftover bread!   Most people never hear of bread soup.  It's winning combination for a little over 30 minutes of work.

Tomato and Stale Bread Soup

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 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,  cayenne pepper and/or salt to taste

If bread isn't completely dry, cut it in cubes and spread on a cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven while you prepare the soup.

Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot and add the bacon.  Stir occasionally over medium heat until nearly crisp.  Drain fat well.

Add 1 more tablespoon of fresh olive oil.  Add the minced onion and celery and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is nearly transparent.  Add flour and continue to cook until flour is light beige in color.  Add the minced garlic and 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 the flour.    Add the water, tomato paste, basil,  oregano and 1 tablespoon of sugar.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Taste, and add salt or black pepper if desired, and another tablespoon of sugar if the soup is still too acid.  

Add bread cubes, stir just to mix, and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes on very low heat until bread is soft but not mushy.  

This soup may be served as is, or 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.

If any is left over, cool and then puree in a blender or food processor for a thicker soup the next day.

The Sneaky Kitchen
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