Recipes   /   Pappa al Pomodoro (Tuscan Bread Soup)

Pappa al Pomodoro (Tuscan Bread Soup)

Jul 21, 2013 by Gabriele Corcos

DIFFICULTY

Welcome to our first episode of the season.
Today, to fulfill the requests of many of you that read the article on People Magazine, we are cooking for you the famous Pappa al Pomodoro!
A brief note about what you will see, as there are two small differences in the way Rosanna and I prepare the Pappa.
She sautes the whole cloves of garlic to flavor the oil, and then she takes them out.
I chop the garlic and I leave it in…I love garlic!She adds the bread to the tomatoes and then she adds the broth,
I add the broth to the tomatoes and when it boils I add the bread.
Either way, as long as you have the right proportion of ingredients you will be fine.

Finding the right kind of bread to make Pappa is harder then actually preparing the dish. Bread should be unflavored, unsalted, not too doughy, with a crust that is actually a crust. Because you need to use stale bread, you have to give yourself some time to dry it. The best way, once you’ve found the
right loaf, is to slice it, and lay the slices on a tray for a couple of days. In front of a sunny window would be just perfect.

Tip: you can save some bread and some broth, in case you need to add one of them to achieve the preferred consistency.
Let’s get cooking!

Serves: 4 / Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cooking Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 cloves of garlic, halved
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes(pelati), broken up
  • 4 handfuls of fresh whole basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 12 ounces stale Pane Toscano or store-bought country bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant but not browned.

2Add the tomatoes, basil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

3Add the vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil.

4Add the bread and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

5Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for an 1 hour, until the bread has absorbed as much of the sauce as possible.Take the soup off the heat, and let it sit for about 1 hour, until the bread has absorbed as much sauce as possible.

6Stir with a wooden spoon, making sure to break down the biggest chunks of bread into smaller pieces. Return the pot to a low heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until warm, but not so hot.

7Serve garnished with basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

Consistency: You should be able to eat the Pappa with your fork. Add some broth if it’s too thick and you still need to “work” the bread, or add some bread if the soup is too liquid. Absolutely do not dress it with Parmesan cheese! Garnish your dish with the remaining basil, and some extra virgin olive oil. Now you are officially a Tuscan farmer!

 

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