Pappa di Pomodoro/Tuscan Bread and Tomato Soup

Serves 4

¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 4 cups)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
4 cups meat broth (I use half beef, half chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups cubed stale bread
freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste

Heat the olive oil in a deep pot and gently sauté the garlic for just a couple of minutes.  Add the tomatoes and basil and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add the meat stock, season with some salt and pepper, add the bread and cook, stirring, until the soup comes to a simmer.  Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

Uncover the pot, simmer for another 5 minutes.  Ladle into bowls.  You can drizzle a little fresh olive oil over the soup, grind a little more pepper on top and grate some parmesan cheese over the top.