Prep time: 3 cocktails
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 onion, chopped finely
2 1/2 cups tomatoes, vine ripened chopped small (this is about 3-5 tomatoes)
5 large leaves fresh basil, minced
3 large celery stalks (with leaves) chopped in half to fit in pot
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 cups water
7 medium slices toasted rustic Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated very finely--only use top-quality cheese!
2 sprigs Italian parsley, minced
Heat the oil over medium-high in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. When warm, add garlic and onions. Saute until they begin to color a bit.
Add tomatoes, basil, celery, and pepper. Cover and simmer over low to medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, bring it back down to medium low and keep at a low boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove and discard celery. Add salt and bread. Cook 10 more minutes on low. Add Parmigiano and parsley. Simmer 5 more minutes and serve. Be a hero!