One of the major attractions while making Tuscan bread was that I could use it for making Pappa al Pomodoro or Tuscan Tomato Bread soup.This is said to be the first course of poor Tuscan cuisine and is a peasant style soup.It is said that to make true Pappa al pomodor you have to use unsalted Tuscan bread,fresh tomatoes,broth,garlic and basil.I made my soup using Mario Batali's recipe at FoodNetwork.
Tomatoes: Peeled and chopped: loosely 1 and 3/4 cup
Onion: finely chopped: loosely 6 tbsp
Garlic: 1 clove
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 1 tbsp+
Tuscan Bread:cubed/cut into chunky pieces:1 cup
Fresh Basil:2 tbsp + as needed
Remove the skin of tomatoes by blanching them in hot water and then dipping in ice cold water. Roughly chop them.Finely chop the onion and mince/crush the garlic.Cube the bread and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions and crushed garlic.Saute till the onion turns transparent.Add in tomatoes along with its juices if any and little salt and let it cook till the tomatoes soften and start to break down.This takes about 5 minutes or so.Add in bread cubes and water and let it simmer till the bread soaks up all the water and soup acquires a porridge or babyfood consistency. Stir in chopped/torn basil and adjust the salt and add pepper and serve hot garnished with parmesan.
The soup or porridge was excellent and very filling.Obviously I love tomato soups and this one is heartwarming and compared to normal soups this is done within minutes.The pics do not do justice to the soup.