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The pappa al pomodoro is one of the most delicious dishes of Tuscan cuisine, indeed, perhaps in the entire repertoire of Italian cuisine, in the humble opinion of this writer. Similarly to panzanella, it is a humble, peasant dish, created to reuse leftover stale bread, but in its simplicity, it is truly exceptional.
I think that, by now, you must be aware that I have a weakness for dishes based on leftover dry bread, since on these pages we have already collected several. The pappa al pomodoro could certainly not be left out!
Excellent in winter as a hot soup, particularly if not too dry, the pappa al pomodoro is irresistible even in warmer weather if served cold or at room temperature.
I prepared this tomato soup for my vegetarian cooking column on the Pomì website, entitled “Green Pantry”. If you do not follow it, I suggest you do so; every month I publish a couple of new veggie recipes that you might find useful to get the five portions of fruit and vegetables per day that we should eat for a balanced diet.
- 300 g stale Tuscan bread
- 800 g rustic-style tomato puree or freshly blanched and peeled tomato pulp
- ½ carrot
- ½ celery stalk
- ½ onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- water or broth
- 1 sprig of basil
- extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the stale bread into slices a few centimeters thick; if the bread is not dry enough, toast it in the oven at 200°C as you would for a bruschetta.
- Put the slices of bread to soak in plenty of water or broth to soften them.
- Separately, prepare finely minced celery, carrot, garlic, and onion, and sauté in a few tablespoons of olive oil, until all the vegetables are tender.
- Add the rustic-style tomato puree to the sautéed vegetables, and let it simmer over a low heat for about twenty minutes.
- Squeeze the bread and crumble it in the tomato puree, stirring well to allow it to soak in the flavor. If you prefer your pappa al pomodoro a little more liquid, add water or broth until you get the desired consistency.
- Adjust the salt and pepper of the pappa al pomodoro, then add a few leaves of basil, and a drizzle of raw olive oil.
- Let the tomato soup rest for half an hour, then serve it hot, putting it back in a saucepan over low heat for a few minutes, or at room temperature.