Vegetable and Bread Soup
7 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 leeks, white part only, sliced
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 beef bouillon cube or 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Saice
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups chicken stock or enhanced chicken stock
1 (28 ounce) cann peeled Italian tomatoes, drained, chopped and juices reserved
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned croutons
4 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
In a large saucepan set on medium-high heat, cook 3 tablespoons of the oil, the garlic, red pepper flakes and leeks for 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, rosemary, the beef bouillon cube or Worcestershire sauce and the sugar and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, tomatoes and reserved juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer.
Remove 1 cup of the soup and puree it in a blender or food processor. Return it to the pot and add the basil, mushrooms and peas. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the croutons, stirring well, and cook 3 to 5 minutes. The soup should look like a chunky pouridge.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining olive oil, if you wish, and the cheese.
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions