Bread and Tomatoes — Part 2 (Soup)
The other day, I shared my recipe for that Tuscan staple, Bread Salad. Today, we are taking almost the exact same ingredients and making soup. The classic Pappa al Pomodoro is such a delicious soup and can be made year round. Fresh, sweet tomatoes are readily available this time of year and I think they’re best in this soup. I like to add a bit of a smoky flavor to my soup by grilling the slices of bread for the soup.
A cool bonus with this soup is that you can chill the leftovers and serve it cold like a gazpacho. I find everyone always wants seconds, though and so I rarely have any left over.
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced small
- 1 shallot, minced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- leaves from 4 branches of oregano
- leaves from 4 branches of basil, plus more for garnish
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
- ½ loaf of artisanal bread (such as a ciabatta or como), sliced.
- fresh Parmesan cheese to serve
- Start by combining the carrot and shallot in a heavy bottom pot with the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook until the shallot is translucent and then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and herbs and mix so everything is coated with the oil and shallot mixture. Add the broth and bring just to a boil. Season with some salt and pepper and reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for a half hour, covered.
- While all that is simmering, take the bread slices and drizzle with olive oil and over a low flame on your grill, toast the bread. Grill them until they have grill marks and are “toasty.” If you don’t have a grill, you can cut the slices of bread into cubes and toss them with olive oil and toast in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Let the oil absorb into the bread and then tear or cut the pieces of bread into small cubes.
- Add the grilled bread bits to the soup and stir until the bread melts into the soup and it thickens. This should take 5-10 minutes. I like to use a fork and press the bread into the liquid and help force it to melt apart.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of fresh grated Parmesan, fresh basil leaves and coarse cracked black pepper.
- To reheat the soup, heat over medium low heat and drizzle in some red wine. this will give a new dimension to your leftovers.
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