for every two pounds of ripe tomatoes, you'll need:
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 slices of stale crusty bread (from a boule or baguette would be perfect)
1 cup of water
about 15-20 basil leaves
- If your tomatoes are firm, peel them. If they are super ripe, skip to the next step. To peel the tomatoes: bring a pot of water up to a boil, cut a small slit in the bottom of each tomato, and blanch the tomatoes in the hot water for 30-60 seconds. Dunk in cold water. The peel should start to come away from the tomato where you made a slit- use this opening to start to peel the skin away from the tomato with a paring knife. No need to be perfect.
- Squish the tomatoes: just like it sounds- squish the peeled tomatoes between your fingers into a bowl. Discard the tomato cores and any pieces of tomato skin as you go.
- Make the soup: heat the olive oil, and toast the smashed garlic until nut brown on both sides. Add a pinch of chili flake, your squished tomatoes, and the water.
- Add the bread: if it's not too hard, just tear the bread into pieces and drop into the soup as it cooks. If it's very stale, soak the bread in cold water for about 10 minutes first, then gently squeeze water out and tear bread into the soup.
- Cook it down until it's thick and saucy. You can always adjust the consistency with a splash of water if it's too thick. Finish the soup by tearing the basil leaves and tossing them into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in bowls, with more olive oil on top, and maybe some shaved parm.