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Gramercy Tavern Tomato and Garlic-Bread Soup

Source: Bon App?tit - November 1999 - as served at Gramercy Tavern - Manhattan, New York City, New York

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
9 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces crusty white sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large onions, finely chopped
8 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
2 (28 ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes, drained, crushed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil (for garnish)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix 1/2 cup olive oil and 3 minced garlic cloves in large bowl. Add sourdough bread pieces and toss to coat. Arrange bread in single layer on large baking sheet. Bake until golden, stirring once, about 20 minutes. Set garlic-bread croutons aside.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saut? until very tender, about 25 minutes. Add remaining minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Simmer soup uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add garlic-bread croutons to soup and cook 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with thinly sliced basil and Parmesan cheese shavings.

Makes 6 servings.

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