Posted by: Cooking Thyme | December 22, 2010

Pappa al Pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro

This is a typical dish of Tuscany that you will find served in every Trattoria in Toscana. It’s a family soup – babies and grandparents (both without teeth!) can eat it. It is a rustic dish that tastes of home cooking, so you should try it. The great thing is that it only takes 20 minutes to cook, so go for it!

Don’t worry if you can’t get hold of cherry tomatoes, normal tomatoes cut into quarters will do.

Serves 4

  • 500g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls of stale bread

Prick the cherry tomatoes with a fork and toss them with quarter of the basil and one sliced clove of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, put them in a roasting tray and cook in the oven at 350ºF for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have time, you can skip this part and add them later straight to the pot, but I’ve experimented both ways, and found out when I roast them in the oven their flavour becomes intense and concentrated.

Heat the olive oil in a pot and add the remaining garlic and the basil stalks. Stir around and gently fry for a minute until softened. Add the tinned tomatoes, then fill the tin with water and add that to the pot. Squash the tomatoes up with a fork to bring out all the juices bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Tear the bread up into small chunks and add them to the pan. Mix well and season to taste. Tear in the basil and let the soup sit on a low heat for 10 minutes. By this time, the roasted tomatoes will be ready, so remove them from the tray, don’t forget scrape all the lovely sticky bits and juice from the bottom. Pour them into the soup with all the juices, basil and oil from the tray.

Give the soup a good stir; you are looking to get a thick, porridge texture. Then remove it from the heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Put in your bowls and  serve with a little extra basil torn over the top.Pappa al Pomodoro

The best thing with this soup is that it has a sweet tomato basil flavour, which I just love.

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