Pappa al pomodoro

20 06 2010

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This dish was inspired from a similar recipe from Koek!, an absolutely fantastic site based out of Capetown, South Africa. The recipe posted there was from  “Beaneaters & Bread Soup: Portraits and Recipes from Tuscany.”  I really love this dish as it screams summertime with the ripe red tomatoes. It is a light yet flavorful offering and with the plethora of fresh, vine ripened tomatoes available this recipe was a must. If you can not get garden fresh tomatoes I recomend 2 large cans of pureed Italian tomatoes, preferably from San Marzano.  Do not use the tasteless megamart options or the soup will be a bland, wasted effort! Made with the proper and fresh ingredients it is a great appetizer or first. You can also serve it slightly chilled with a refreshing white wine to beat the  summer heat.

Pappa al pomodoro

  • 1 cup (8 oz) olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 leeks, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 pounds fresh garden ripened tomatoes, concassée with seeds removed and puréed or 2 (~28 oz) cans puréed canned Italian tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • 4 cups light chicken stock
  • 1/2 loaf day-old sourdough bread (preferably unsalted), thickly sliced
  • 4-6 oz  basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Truffle oil or good quality extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a medium cooking pot over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute then add the leeks, shallot and onion. Sauté over a low heat for 20 minutes, do not let the vegetables brown. While the vegetable cook, concassée the tomatoes, reserving the juice and discarding the seeds and cores. Puree the flesh and add back the reserved juice. Add the stock and puréed tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the bread. Leave to rest for 30 minutes. For a more homogeneous soup, use an immersion blender, or blend in small batches in a blender or food processor, and purée the soup until has a porridge-like consistency. For a more “country-style” (pictured here and which I prefer) use a wooden spoon to stir and break up the bread slices until the desired consistency is achieved. Add the basil and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning. To serve ladle into bowls, drizzle with truffle oil or extra virgin olive oil then top with grated parmesan cheese and serve.




4 responses

20 06 2010

I love tomatoes and this summer we are going to get a lot from our orchard; this soup sounds delightful and I admit I was starting to salivate thinking about making it.

21 06 2010

@TOB: Perfect with some hummus….
@Chef E: Thx! Haha-yes they edited out the chicken slapping dialogue!!So good it makes you want to slap yo’ bird!!

20 06 2010
Chef E

I am a tomato head too! Love this brilliant red coloring and love the wine you paired- hope you enjoyed it as much as we are looking at it!

23 06 2010

I love the idea of serving this chilled – so versatile and simple this dish. An excellent example of just how dynamic Italian cuisine is.

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