Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pappa al Pomodoro

This was a recipe Matt saw in the current Sur La Table catalog. I think it pretty funny that he chose two recipes this week from catalogs.
Pappa al Pomadoro
Its a super simple preparation, just cook down some canned tomato sauce with onions, garlic & basil, add some toasted bread chunks & let them soak up the juices. This is called a Tomato Bread Soup but really the resulting texture isn't very soup-like, its more like a bread stew. The flavor was wonderfully rustic & satisfying. I think using good tomatoes is key here to get the best flavor, we used Muir Glen organic crushed tomatoes with basil. The bread gets very soft but still retains some of its texture especially at the crusts. Matt has not been feeling well & this warm, comforting dish really hit the spot.
You can buy bread to make this recipe but I just cooked up a 3/4 pound loaf of the master bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. We figured the homemade loaf cost us pennies compared to what the stores charge for their artisan loaves.

Pappa al Pomodoro
(from Sur La Table)

2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 c water
1 c basil, chiffonade
crushed red pepper to taste
3/4 lb rustic Italian bread
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion & garlic & cook until soft & translucent, about 10-12 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water, basil & red pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.

While the tomatoes are cooking cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes & place them on a baking sheet. Toast them in the oven for about 15 minutes until they are dry & turning brown.

Add the bread cubes to the tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes have absorbed the liquid about 40 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil on top to serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish or 3 main servings.

I've sized the recipe down from the original by half & added more garlic.

Time for some fall soups!
Creamy Chicken Wild Rice (probably the most popular recipe we've published)
Hearty Baked Potato Soup
Cheddar Cheese & Beer Soup


Mary P. said...

I can't believe I was eating this soup when I stumbled upon your website! It was from an episode of Rachael Ray and I got it from The only difference was the addition of small white beans, and using stock instead of water. I love this soup and can't wait to try your version.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mary, This looks really fab & so simple. What a great lunch or supper dish.

Thistlemoon said...

This looks delicious Kat! Perfect for those summer tomatoes that are still going strong down here!

Jeff Hertzberg said...

I'm Jeff Hertzberg, one of the co-authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Thanks for mentioning our book. Come visit us anytime at, where you can post questions into any "Comments" field, or click on "Bread Questions" on the left side of the homepage and choose among the options.

Jeff Hertzberg

Chicago tribune video:

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

I have some day-old foccaccia, so I think I'm off to make this soup! How serendipitous!

Peter M said...

Kat this would be great for day old bread...waste not, want not!~

Maria said...

I love making my own tomato sauces! They are so easy and so good!! Pairing the meal with a good loaf of artisan bread is always a special treat.

Deborah said...

I made a version of this soup years ago, and forgot about it until I saw your post! This sounds delicious!

Beth (jamandcream) said...

Great way to use up all the tomatoes I should have had if my plants hadn't died this year! Oh well, there's always the cans

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

I'm sorry Matt is under the weather :( He'll be back on top soon enough. Yay to tasty bread soups :)

grace said...

wowza, that's super thick! eh, all the better to comfort a sickling. hope matt feels better soon! :)

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t = teaspoon
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