Pappa a la Pomodoro – Tuscan Bread Soup

Recommended wine pairing: Tenuta di Castiglioni

3 tbs extra – virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of crushed or chopped garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 16-oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups water or chicken broth
1/2 loaf of day old rustic Italian bread, crust removed and cubed
basil for garnish
salt and pepper

Heat oil in large 3 – 4 quart pot. Saute onion and garlic until onion is tender and translucent. Drain and chop tomatoes, reserving the juice. Add chopped tomatoes and reserved juice with the red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add bread and broth or water and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes or until all broth or water is absorbed. Use broth for a richer soup, water for a lighter one. If soup dries up, add more broth or water.

Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls. Garnish with chopped basil