Pappa al Pomodoro

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's almost spring and that means that our "Soup Sundays" will soon be coming to an end until next fall.  March is cold in Iowa though, and today was no exception.  I decided to make a nice pot of Pappa al Pomodoro.  Pappa al Pomodoro is a Tuscan bread and tomato soup that has an amazing flavor.  I used to make this soup all the time, but haven't made it since we moved to Iowa so I thought it was time to break out the recipe again.  In the fall you can make it with the abundance of fresh tomatoes, but when those aren't available, canned tomatoes work beautifully.  This soup is not only incredibly flavorful, but also incredibly easy and budget friendly!  I like to serve heaping ladlefuls of this soup in a nice shallow bowl topped with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  YUMMY!

Pappa al Pomodoro

  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (I like to  use the kind with garlic and olive oil)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, very finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, very finely chopped
  • 1 loaf bakery bread (such as French or Italian), cut into cubes
  • 2 (15 oz) cans small white beans (such as Great Northern)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (you can use vegetable stock to make it completely vegetarian)
  • 1 tsp. Italian herbs
  • 1 heaping tablespoon homemade or store bought basil pesto (I usually have some in the freezer from the HUGE amount of basil we get from the CSA every summer)
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large parmesan rind plus grated parmesan for serving
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat until the butter is melted.  Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots.  Cook about 10 minutes or until somewhat soft.  Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, parmesan rind, pesto, and Italian herbs.  Turn up heat and bring to a simmer.  Once simmering turn heat down to medium low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Add the bread and the beans and continue to simmer until very thick and the bread is completely incorporated.  If the soup is too thick you can add a small amount of extra chicken stock or water at a time until desired consistency.  Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and extra bread if desired! Sometimes I even top it with a little extra pesto! YUMMY!

Until next time, happy and HEALTHY cooking and EATING!


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