6 medium ripe tomatoes, or if not in season, 2 (14 ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/4 teaspoon hot chili powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I use homemade)
6 slices stale bread, crusts removed and torn into small pieces
1/4 small cucumber, diced
1.Make a small cross in the base of each tomato., then place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 2 minutes or until the skins have started to peel away, then drain. Remove the skins and seeds and chop into large pieces (or if using the canned tomatoes, chop)
2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until softened. Add the tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic and chili powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the broth, cover the saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes (30 minutes if using the canned tomatoes).
3. Remove the tomato mixture from the heat and stir in the bread. Cover and allow to stand for 10 minutes or until the bread is blended with the tomatoes. Season to taste. Serve the soup warm or cold with a swirl of olive oil and a spoonful of the diced cucumbers.
Source of recipe: My grandmother's recipe.