The Italians are famous for creating masterpieces out of the simplest ingredients, and this traditional bread soup is a prime example of simplicity at its best. I’ve adapted the original concept to include more vegetables, but these are optional if you prefer to be a purist.
Age: fifth month of eating, plus
Not suitable for freezing
Makes: 2½ cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
• 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to serve
• 2½ cm-piece carrot, peeled and grated (optional)
• 2½ cm-piece celery, peeled and finely diced (optional)
• 2½ cm-piece zucchini, grated (optional)
• ½ garlic clove, minced
• ½ a 425g can (1 cup) diced tomatoes
• ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
• 250ml salt-reduced chicken stock
• 75g day-old quality bread (do not use pre-sliced commercial bread)
• ¼ cup full-fat milk (optional, but it will soften the tomato flavour)
• Grated parmesan cheese
1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes. Add the basil and stock and allow to simmer while preparing the bread.
3. Remove the crusts from the bread and cut it roughly into 1cm cubes. Add to the pan, stir gently to combine, and allow to simmer over the lowest possible heat for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk, if using.
5. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan.
TIP: Double this recipe to create a super lunch or dinner for all the family. Mum and dad might like a little salt and pepper to really bring out the flavours.
Read author Emily Dupuche's story and see more of her recipes from Food Babies Love, out now.