Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pappa al Pomodoro (Tomato And Bread Soup)


Pappa al Pomodoro is a thick and hearty tomato based Tuscan soup, thickened with bread. It makes use of the simplest of ingredients- tomatoes, bread, garlic and olive oil- yet it’s so rich and full of flavor. This is easily one of the most delicious soups I’ve tasted in a long time.

I only wish I’d had fresh basil while making the soup as it would have taken the flavors to a whole new level, but it was not too bad even without basil leaves. I did not want to use the dried basil that I had for this recipe.

This soup is the outcome of the recipes I saw here
here and here, and is a great way to use up leftover bread.

(For 3-4 servings)
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (mine also had basil, garlic and oregano)
½ onion, sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 cups stale bread, cut into cubes (I used the Italian bread that I had)
4 tbsp olive oil
Red pepper flakes

3 cups water or as required

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the cherry tomatoes (no need to halve these), the sliced onions and the garlic cloves on a baking sheet lined with foil. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well to coat the vegetables. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are soft and caramelized.

In a large saucepan, add the can of diced tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes and then add the roasted vegetables to it. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and then simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet lined with foil. I used the same baking sheet from above, just replaced the foil. Toss the bread cubes around in 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Toast for 15-20 minutes at 250 degrees F.

Toss the toasted bread cubes into the soup and mix well. The bread absorbs all the liquid in the soup as it cooks. Add the rest of the water. Mix well and continue to cook for some more time. Adjust the seasoning as required and keep checking and stirring the soup every now and then.

I did not like having large pieces of tomatoes in my soup, so I used my immersion blender and pureed everything just a little bit. Simmer on low-medium heat for another 5-10 minutes till the soup develops a texture similar to that of a thick and creamy porridge. Add more water or stock, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

The soup tastes even better the next day but it becomes very thick, so you would need to add some water or stock (I used milk) to thin it out. Also adjust the salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes and serve.

This soup is my entry for No Croutons Required: The Birthday Edition, hosted this month by Holler who is celebrating her birthday the entire month.
Here’s a predominantly Italian menu to go with the soup.
Parmesan Popovers
Parmesan cups with mango salsa
Potato gratin
Cannellini beans with cheese and basil
Ricotta and Nutella phyllo shells

Happy Birthday, Holler!


19 Burps:

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

mmm, the dish looks rich and full of flavors as u mentioned, simple ingredients and by the end result is satisfying both to the eyes and the stomach ;)

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow thick, creamy and yummy. Looks spicy too.

Soma said...

Delicious! I had made this from Suganya's Blog & just love it. Nice idea to use already flavored tomato.

Asha said...

So delicious! Love the Parmesan on top, hardy soup to have. Good one TBC! :)

A_and_N said...

I've been wanting to try this for ages now. Mebbe I should sometime soon.

Uma said...

soup looks so rich and yum! Nice one! :)

Divya Vikram said...

Love the idea of adding bread to the soup. Sounds delectable..

Lisa said...

That sounds really hearty. It would be a good entry to No Croutons Required too this month :)

Vaishali said...

This sounds almost like a savory pudding! And how beautiful it looks. Delicious.

Madhumathi said...

Love this tomato soup..with bread it sounds great :)

Supriya Nair said...

Slurrrrpppppppp.....Mouthwatering delight....wish I could taste this one...thanks for the recipe!!!

Rajesh &Shankari said...

I simpley love this soup- yeah fresh basil adds another layer of flavor to this soup

Laavanya said...

A soup with bread huh? Sounds really interesting.. i made a panzanelle the other day and found it okay but not too impressed. This looks so thick and yummy.

TBC said...

Ramya, KF, Soma, Asha, Uma, Divya, Vaishali, Madhumathi and Supriya- thank you for your comments.:)

A & N- when do you stop doing your no-carb thing?? :D

Lisa- thanks for letting me know. I have sent it across to Holler.:D

Shankari- how have you been?

Laavanya- that's a bread salad, right?
This soup is pretty good. I couldn't wait to have the leftovers the next day! :D

Vanamala said...

Nice recipe....

Cynthia said...

Now this is a proper soup :) nice and thick.

TBC said...

Vanamala & Cynthia- thank you.:D

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a tomato, basil and bread soup recipe. Will try soon -- good for a chilly spring night.

Texas friend.

TBC said...

Texas friend- hope you like it as much as I did!

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