Tuscan Bread Soup
|1 baguette||sourdough bread, about 1/2-pound, preferable day old, cut into 1 inch cubes|
|3 tablespoons||olive oil|
|1 teaspoon||garlic powder|
|1-1/2 teaspoons||kosher salt|
|1 large||onion, chopped|
|2 celery||stalks, chopped|
|2 leeks||rinsed well and chopped|
|2 cloves||garlic, thinly sliced|
|2 teaspoons||dried thyme leaves|
|1/2 teaspoon||ground black pepper|
|1/8 teaspoon||cayenne, or to taste|
|6 cups||vegetable stock|
|28 ounce||can whole tomatoes, drained and diced|
|1 bunch||basil stems, tied together with butcher's twine|
|1/2 cup||shaved Parmesan cheese|
|1/2 cup||fresh parsley, chopped|
Preheat the oven to 300 F. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss to coat bread. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet, place in the oven, and bake for 40 minutes, until crisp all the way trough. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a large stockpot, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, leeks, and garlic cloves and sweat for 4 minutes, until tender. Add the thyme, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir to coat vegetables. Add the stock, tomatoes , and basil stems, and stir in the toasted bread cubes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the shaved Parmesan and chopped parsley.