Aired October 9, 2008
3 to 4 Idaho potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
1 large onion, sliced
3 cubanelle peppers, seeded, halved and thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded, quartered lengthwise then sliced into thin slices
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated, plus 1 left whole
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 15-ounce cans or 1 28-ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 loaf ciabatta, split open
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus additional
3 to 4 leaves basil, thinly sliced
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the sliced potatoes to the pan and cook, stirring and flipping occasionally, until golden brown and tender, 7-8 minutes. (Wait until the potatoes begin to turn golden brown before seasoning them with salt and pepper).
While the potatoes are working, place a large saucepan over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion, peppers and chopped garlic to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and softened, 7-8 minutes.
Add the crushed pepper flakes, tomatoes and stock to the pot and bring the liquids to a bubble. Add the potatoes to the soup and simmer for a couple of minutes to develop flavor.
While the soup is simmering, place the ciabatta cut side up on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler until light golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven and rub the toasted sides evenly with the whole clove of garlic. Give each side a light drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of grated Parm then return the bread to the broiler to brown the cheese.
To serve the soup, place a wedge of the cheesy garlic toast in the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup over top. Garnish each bowl with some chopped basil and parsley, a drizzle of EVOO and some more grated Parm.