One of the Tuscan dishes most popular and appreciated in Italy, la pappa col pomodoro is a tomato and bread soup that takes a very thick consistency. La pappa is so popular it even has a song dedicated to it.
Pappa commonly refers to the semisolid food given to infant and toddlers when they first start eating and in this context refers to the texture of the dish which is rather thick and not all that soupy.
There are different versions of this dish, the more traditionals require you to start by roasting the bread in the oil, adding the tomatoes and cooking everything down. The faster and lighter versions have you cook a tomato soup and add the bread at the end of the cooking time. I am going for the fast, lighter version.
- 2 lb tomatoes
- 1/2 lb toasted or even stale bread
- 1 quart broth
- 1 clove garlic
- extra virgin olive oil
- Roast the garlic clove whole in a drizzle of oil in a pot, when the garlic has browned add in the tomatoes roughly diced. Let them cook for a couple of minute so they can absorb the garlic flavor.
- Add in enough broth to cover the tomatoes and let it come to a boil, turn the heat down so the soup is just simmering and cook it for as long as you want. 30 to 40 minutes is a reasonable time, you can cook it more if you have time or less if you are in a hurry (10 minutes are technically enough to make the tomatoes soft).
- At the end of the cooking time add the basil and blend using an immersion blender until the soup is smooth. At this point add in the bread cut in 1 inch cubes and let it soak in the soup until it becomes soft.
- Serve the soup warm with a drizzle of oil and some black pepper.
- As for most soups resting it only makes it better, so if you have time cook it in advance!
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