We loved rich flavor and chunky texture of this soup very much and this is why I decided to reproduce this recipe at home. My version tasted very similar, although theirs had a more vivid tomato taste. I think the reason for the difference is in quality of tomatoes. When tomatoes in my garden are ripe, I am planning to make this soup again, and I hope that the intensity of tomato flavor should improve. As another option, I want to try making it from my frozen high-quality tomatoes.
And so, for 4 servings of soup I used 5-6 medium-sized meaty tomatoes, 4-5 large garlic cloves, about half a cup of good olive oil, 3-4 slices of stale Italian bread, a few sprigs of basil, 2-3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper and sugar to taste, water to dilute the soup to the desired thickness, and the pesto to garnish.
Remove skin and seeds from tomatoes and dice. Chop garlic finely. Cut stale white bread into small cubes. Cut basil finely.
Pour olive oil into pot and add garlic. Place pot on low heat and stew until the garlic begins to emit a aroma. Add tomatoes, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. When the tomatoes begin to boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer tomatoes for about 10 minutes. If tomatoes are very meaty, by then they should start falling apart. My tomatoes were still in large chunks so I used potato masher to mash them unto smaller pieces.
Add bread cubes and half of basil to the tomatoes, basil and simmer on low heat for another ten minutes. Dilute soup with water to desired thickness. Add a little water at the time, because the soup should remain fairly thick. Boil, add salt and pepper to taste and, if your tomatoes are not sweet enough, add a little sugar. Then add Parmesan, stir and turn off the heat.
Serve immediately garnished with a teaspoon of pesto. You can simply sprinkle chopped basil over the soup but with pesto it tastes better.
Step by step pictures are located in Russian version of the recipe:
Details on how to peel tomato are located in Gazpacho recipe: