Source: Tuscan Tomato Soup, Williams Sonoma Soup
6-8 slices French bread, 1 inch think
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, then diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup finely chopped basil leaves, plus 6-8 whole leaves for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, turning once, 10-15 minutes total. Set aside.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a blender or food processor, purée the soup in batches, leaving a little bit of texture if desired, and return the soup to the pot. Alternatively, process with a handheld blender in the pot until the desired consistency is reached. Return the soup to medium heat and reheat gently. Add the chopped basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, place a slice of toasted bread in the bottom of each warmed bowl and sprinkle with a spoonful of Parmesan cheese. Ladle the soup on top and garnish with a basil leaf. Serve it immediately.