Our gal pal Julie had the fabulous fortune to spend six weeks in a dreamy Tuscan villa, with a spiffed-up kitchen and scads of freshly picked bounty from a market just down the hill. When company would drop by, time together in la cucina was the biggest delight.
This easy soup was concocted with friends one langorous afternoon, inspired by a bounty of fresh tomatoes, basil, and an abundance of good white wine that melds with the classic soup starters: onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Delicious hot or cold, we especially love it hot and drizzled with plenty of olive oil and Parmesan melting on top.
With crunchy bread soaking up the sunny taste, it’s the heart of a Tuscan summer in a bowl.
Tuscan Love Summer Soup
Serves 4 to 6
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 rib celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 small pepperoncino, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
5 basil leaves, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper
3 small slices rustic bread, toasted and cubed
Olive oil, grated Parmesan, for serving
Sauté onion, celery, carrot and garlic in olive oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Stir in white wine, bay leaf, parsley and pepperoncino, cooking until wine mostly evaporates, about 10 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add basil and slice tomatoes; lower heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove bay leaf. Divide bread cubes among serving bowls and pour hot soup over the bread. Drizzle with olive oil and grated cheese, to taste.