You will need about 150g crustless bread. Make garlic croutons with the crust by tearing it into small pieces. Toss in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons fresh garlic paste. Season with salt. Spread over an oven tray. Cook in a moderately slow oven (160C) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden and crunchy. Cool on tray. Serve over soups and salads, or enjoy as a tasty snack.
½ x 370g loaf ciabatta or sourdough bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots, cut into 1cm pieces
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh garlic paste
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch English spinach (175g), shredded
Grated parmesan, to serve
Trim crust from bread, reserving crust for another use. Slice or tear bread into small pieces or chunks.
Heat oil in a large stockpot over a medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.
Stir in tomatoes, stock, beans, bread pieces and 1 litre (4 cups) water. Bring to boil. Gently boil, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes, or until bread is very soft and soup is slightly thickened. Stir in spinach. Gently boil for about 2 minutes or until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with parmesan.