Classic Soup Done Chef Dez Style

A number of years ago I featured a recipe on Global TV for Italian Sausage & Gnocchi Soup. The amount of positive feedback I received from this recipe was overwhelming to say the least. One of the requests I received within this feedback was for a vegetarian version of this soup, and it is with this column I am happy to oblige.

Now let’s be honest: I can’t think of anything vegetarian that would replicate the flavour of sausage, but I guess if you are vegetarian you more than likely don’t want that flavour anyway. This recipe otherwise is very reminiscent to the original one.

This recipe is extremely easy and screams “classic Italian”. Vegetarian or not, I think this finished dish at your next dinner party will be a splash (figuratively, hopefully not literally).

Rustic Italian Bread Soup

“My version of a classic bread soup. Very simple, but very delicious!”

500g loaf of bread (Crusty Italian or Sour Dough), cut in large cubes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
A few grinds of black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small/medium onion, diced small
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper
1 – 796ml can of diced tomatoes
1 – 900ml tetra pack of vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Parmiggiano Regianno cheese, grated or shaved, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the bread cubes with the 1/4 cup olive oil, dried basil, dried oregano, 1 tsp salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes until golden (like large croutons). Set aside.
  2. Heat a pot over medium heat. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil, onion, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, while stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion & garlic are soft.
  3. Add the can of diced tomatoes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh basil, sugar, and salt.
  6. Divide the baked bread cubes into 8 soup bowls. Ladle an equal amount of soup into each bowl over the bread cubes. Garnish with the Parmiggiano and serve immediately.

Makes 8 portions