Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Sunday Project – February 24, 2013

Tuscan Bread Soup

Sometime ago I need a “go to” soup, one that I could whip up and would be fantastic every time for my position at Meyer May House in Grand Rapids, MI.  I was in charge of 6 course meals for the Frank Lloyd Wright museum owned and operated by Steelcase.  I had the privilege of serving guest around the world. 

The position of “chef” at the house was a wonderful first spot out of Grand Rapids College’s Culinary Arts Program, as I got to work with almost anything that I wanted.  I did, as we all do, have to be cost conscious, and put out wonderful food but I was also allowed to be creative.

I went to my friend and mentor Jorge Sanchez and asked one time if he would share a soup with me.  Now I know lots of chef’s who think that sharing is a “no-no” and Chef Sanchez is not one of those!  So I give credit where credit is due.  This is his version of Tuscan Bread Soup.  Why his version you ask?  Well I’ve learned over the last several decades, that not much is really “new.”  Oh, the products might change, but in reading recipes in books (and now on line) everyone has a favorite that they may have tweaked a little bit, but in essence lots of recipes have been created over and over again in the family home.  I even have some of those recipes, though believe it or not, some of them had a can of Campbell’s soup as a base!  My mother is frugal, knew how to garden, and could whip up a meal quickly. 


Here is Chef Jorge Sanchez’s Tuscan Bread Soup.  I made a version this week for Davenport University’s Dining Hall, and it was rather tasty!

Thank you Jorge for being a good friend and mentor and reminding that simple food  is so good!

Tuscan Bread Soup

6 tablespoons
6 cloves garlic
1 12 ounce can
Peeled whole tomatoes
Sea salt/ground pepper
To taste
48 oz
Chicken broth
½ loaf
Day old French or Italian bread/drier the better
10 fresh
Basil leaves, torn not chopped

In a medium pot, medium heat add ½ olive oil and the crushed garlic, when the garlic infuses with the oil, add the whole tomatoes and crush into chunks with spoon, or your hands.

Add Salt and pepper to taste

Make this “saltier” than you think.  The bread will be added, and this will adjust the salt.

Add Broth and stir

Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.


With your hands, pull the bread into bite sized chunks, and add them to your bowls.  Ladle soup into bowls, and add basil to the top of each bowl.







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