- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling on stoup at the table
- 3 green or yellow bell peppers, diced into bite-size chunks
- 1 large softball-size onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 4 cups stale crusty bread, torn or chopped (half a loaf)
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 cup basil leaves (about 20), torn
- Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese, to pass at the table
- Place a soup pot over medium-high heat with three turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. Add the peppers, onion and garlic – as you chop them, drop them into the pot. Let the veggies cook for 10 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar, then stir to cook it down, 1 minute.
- Add the chicken stock and crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil and then add the bread. Within 5 minutes the bread will bloat; stir to break it up. Simmer for another 5 minutes to really thicken the stoup up. Season stoup with salt and pepper, to taste. Fold in the basil.
- The stoup is done when a spoon stands upright in pot. Ladle the stoup into bowls and top with EVOO and cheese.