Pappa al Pomodoro (bread and tomato soup)
A slow-cooked, deeply flavoursome tomato soup recipe, straight from the heart of Tuscany.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 2 -4
For the broth:
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 celery stick
- 1 litre water
For the soffritto:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 white onion
- 1/2 carrot
- 1/2 stick of celery
- 10 basil leaves
- pinch of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of good quality chopped tomatoes they’re the heart of the dish so don’t skimp
- 2 slices of medium thickness white bread roughly cubed with the crusts removed (the better the bread, the better the soup)
Start by making the simple vegetable broth Slice the carrots and celery thickly and chop the onion into quarters and add to a large pan. Pour in 1 litre boiling water, bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and leave simmering for 30 minutes.
In another pan, make the soffritto by warming the olive oil over a medium-low heat. Finely chop the onion, carrot, and celery and sweat in the pan until soft.
Add the basil leaves, salt, finely chopped garlic, tomatoes and the stale bread and cook until the bread has absorbed the tomato liquid.
Strain the broth (keep the veggies for something else – it’s a shame to waste them) and add the broth liquid to the tomato pan. Keeping the heat low and the pan semi-covered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes, then take off the heat, cover and leave for 30 minutes to rest.
Repeat the 30-minute cook, 30-minute rest cycle twice more.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on the top to complete the glossy, swirled look and silky texture of this delicate, delicious dish that’s well worth the wait.