3 large slices good quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, extra for drizzling
1 small onion, chopped medium (about 3/4 cup)
5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
1/8 - 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
2 large slices good quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, 1/2-inch cubes
2 - 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth Table salt and ground black pepper
1. FOR THE CROUTONS: Heat oil in 10-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread cubes, salt, and pepper; stir to coat with oil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until croutons are well browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside. 2. FOR THE SOUP: While croutons cook, heat 1/4 cup oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add drained tomatoes, and using potato masher, mash until pieces no bigger than 2 inches remain. Increase heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes start to stick to bottom of pan, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in reserved tomato juice, bread, 2 cups broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until bread is completely soaked and soup is boiling, 5 to 8 minutes. 3. Transfer half of soup to blender or food processor. Add 2 tablespoons oil and process, until soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup broth if soup is too thick. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve soup in individual bowls, sprinkling each portion with black pepper and drizzling with olive oil. Pass croutons separately.
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