1.5l Stock (Fresh chicken or vegetable, or from a stock cube. For a richer soup, use beef stock)
1.5 tins Italian Tomatoes (600g in weight)
3 medium slices Rustic Bread
3 cloves Garlic
2 sticks Celery
Cut the bread into 1cm cubes and dry out in a low oven for about 40 minutes
Dice the onion, celery and carrot finely, crush the garlic and soften all the ingredients in a tablespoon of olive oil over a low heat for about 10 minutes
Add the bread and stir till all the oil is absorbed. You may add another tablespoon of oil for a richer soup. Add the thyme, either as a small bundle or by stripping off the soft leaves and discarding the stalks.
Add the tomatoes and around 1.5 litres of stock. Bring the whole mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for around 30 minutes till all the bread is soft. If the thyme has been added as a bundle, remove it at this stage. Now, mash with a potato masher or use a stick blender to blitz. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The consistency should be like that of porridge. Tear most of the basil leaves into the warm soup and if you. Ideally cover and allow the mixture to rest for a few hours then reheat gently.
Serve garnished with basil and with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for each bowl.