Visions of a Tuscan summer come with each spoonful of this simple, richly flavored Italian tradition. Using only the freshest tomatoes at the peak of their flavor, this simple soup is summer at its best.
Makes 3-4 servings
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, diced (do not peel or seed)
3-4 cups spring or filtered water
1 whole carrot, unpeeled
1 small loaf whole-grain sourdough bread, coarsely crumbled
2 teaspoons sweet white miso
1 small bunch fresh basil, finely minced
Place the oil and the garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle (do not let it burn), add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil and add the carrot, several pinches of salt and the bread. Stir well, cover and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the bread is quite soft, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the carrot from the pot and discard. Remove a small amount of broth and use to dissolve the miso. Stir the miso mixture into the soup and simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes to activate the enzymes in the miso. Stir in the basil and serve.