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. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to www.yum-o.org.