Pappa al Pomodoro is, truly, one of the most delicious and simple soups you can make, originating in Tuscany and consisting of not much more than tomatoes, bread, and olive oil. In my case, it’s also great for creating the illusion of summer; the reality is very wintry wind and rain hammering my window as I type!
I’ve used entirely tinned tomatoes in this recipe for the simple reason that “fresh” tomatoes taste rather bland at this time of year (it being January in the UK right now); you could easily replace up to half the tomatoes by weight with either cherry or plum tomatoes though (the latter being my preference). If you do, I’d suggest roasting them in the oven at 180 degrees for half an hour or so to soften and add flavour before use.
Another point worth mentioning is the addition of sugar as a seasoning below; this is certainly something not to be afraid of. Tomatoes are a fruit after all containing natural sugars, and sometimes need a little help to be restored back to their best. I needed around 1 teaspoon and it really did make all the difference without tasting un-natural. It’s also important that you use good tinned tomatoes; the cheap supermarket brands lack any real flavour.
This recipe is also being submitted for this weeks “Weekend Herb Blogging”, being held at “The Crispy Cook“.
Recipe: Pappa al Pomodoro
Summary: Tomato and bread soup; an Italian classic that tastes amazing.
- 4 * 400g Tins Plum Tomatoes
- 500g Stale bread (I used sourdough), crusts removed & torn into rough chunks.
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- Handful of fresh Basil
- Olive Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper, to season
- Sugar (optional)
- Begin by chopping your garlic into thin slices, then heating gently in a pan with a good sized glug of olive oil (50ml approx).
- Before the garlic starts to go brown add in all four tins of tomatoes and 300ml of water. Stir well.
- Mush the tomatoes up a bit with a wooden spoon and bring the whole thing up to the boil before reducing down to a simmer.
- Simmer for 30 minutes; about 5 minutes before the end add in your bread and basil and stir.
- Remove from the heat and check for seasoning, making the necessary adjustments with salt, pepper and sugar (if needed). Allow to stand for a couple of minutes.
- Pour in approx 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil and stir loosely to combine. Add more water if needed whilst stirring to create a thick, porridge like consistency.
- Ladle into bowls and top with yet more extra virgin olive oil and a sprig of fresh basil.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4