1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 28oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes or 12 Roma tomatoes, peeled 1 quart water or vegetable stock 1/4 cup dry red wine 1 loaf Country Bread, torn into bite-size pieces
Mash the basil well with 1/2 cup of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic, red pepper and oregano just until the garlic begins to sizzle. Crush the tomatoes with your hands over the stockpot, including all juices. Add the water or stock and red wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the bread and remove from heat. Serve immediately, drizzling the soup liberally with the mashed basil oil.