Francisco-Style Pappa Al Pomodoro Soup

Topping

1 slice Francisco French Sandwich Bread, cubed

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (14.5-ounce) can canned diced tomatoes, with juices

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil

1 slice Francisco French Sandwich Bread, cubed

Directions

Makes: 4 Servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Francisco French Sandwich Bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until toasted. Place warm bread cubes in a bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese, basil and lemon zest. Reserve. In a medium saucepan, sauté garlic over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 seconds. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, crushed red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 5 minutes, or until flavors have blended. Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil and the soft Francisco French Sandwich Bread cubes. Use a potato masher or a spoon to slightly mash the bread into the soup (the bread helps thicken the soup). Simmer for 2 minutes, or until warmed through. Ladle soup into bowls and top with the reserved toasted bread crumb mixture.