Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas mark 6. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons olive oil over the cubed bread. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, chilli – if using and cook until they soften. Stir in the tomatoes, bread (leave some for garnish), sugar and basil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook over a moderate heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock to the tomato mixture, bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Liquidise or purée 3 ladles of the soup and return to the saucepan. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. To serve: Swirl a little extra virgin olive oil onto the soup and garnish with some sprigs of fresh basil and reserved croutons.
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Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Make the soup, then leave to cool at room temperature. Freeze (without garnishes or toppings) in a rigid container, leaving a bit of space for expansion, for up to 1-3 months. Reheat either from frozen or defrost in the fridge overnight. Once piping hot, add toppings or garnishes and serve.