Summer Panzanella Soup With Orzo

I love Friday night dinners when I have everything I need in the house. Not that I don't like running to the store, I really do hate doing that. Our little tomato plant on the deck has been producing the most delicious tomatoes this summer. I had a few on the window sill that were perfectly ripe. I found the recipe for Summer Panzanella Soup With Tiny Pasta in a William Sonnoma recipe book online. This was amazing. The tomatoes were perfect and the addition of the toasted Italian bread, well that brought the whole thing over the top!

Here is my variation of the recipe-

Ingredients-
1/2 loaf crusty Italian bread
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 oz Orzo
1 small onion, minced
1 lb ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cups chicken broth
1⁄4 cup chopped basil
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Method-
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Cut enough of the bread up into cubes to measure out 1 cup. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet, toss with 1 Tbsp of the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven, stirring once, until browned, about 12 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes or according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large, heavy pot, warm the remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Purée half of the soup in a blender or food processor. Return to the pot and add the toasted bread. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the pasta and basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkled with the Parmesan.

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