Recipe: Pappa al Pomodoro

Recipe courtesy of Seriously Simple: Easy Recipes for Creative Cooks
by Diane Rossen Worthington

Published by Chronicle Books

Pappa al Pomodoro

I have tried this soup with different types of tomatoes and have found that the best canned diced Italian tomatoes make a major difference. Don’t use crushed tomatoes, as the flavor will not be the same. This is the soup to make for hard-core tomato lovers who can’t wait until summer’s bounty. Look for a country-style bread for best results.

Serves 4 to 6

  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves, plus 4 to 6 leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus 4 to 6 leaves for garnish
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds country-style bread, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
  1. Place a food mill over a bowl. Pass the tomatoes and juice through the mill to remove the seeds. Set the tomatoes aside.
  2. In a medium soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, or until softened but not browned. Add the basil and sage and cook for 1 minute, or until softened and aromatic.
  3. Add the reserved tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the tomato mixture is cooked down a little.
  4. Add the bread, cover, and cook another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the soup sit for a few more minutes to allow the bread to soften and melt into the soup.
  5. To serve, ladle into shallow soup bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and garnish each with a basil and sage leaf. Serve immediately.
Advance Preparation: May be prepared up to 4 hours ahead through Step 4 before serving. The longer it sits, the thicker it will become. Cover and leave at room temperature. Reheat gently.

The Clever Cook Could:
  • Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon Balsamic Syrup over each serving.
  • Prepare this when you have stale leftover bread.
  • Add a dollop of ricotta cheese to the soup bowl and then ladle the soup over for a slightly creamy result.

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