Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I have a confession to make. I am at heart a bread, soup and salad kind of gal, and, should the occasion ever arise, my last meal request would include all three, with a glass of good red wine thrown in to wash it all down. I'm fond enough of soup that it's not limited to my winter kitchen. While my summer versions  are lighter than their winter cousins, warm weather does not keep soup from my table. The soup I'm featuring tonight is Anne Burrell's take on a Tuscan peasant favorite, Pappa al Pomodoro, and it is perfect for a a warm summer evening when tomato vines are heavy and dripping with blood red fruit. While the soup is nearly effortless to make, there is one pitfall that you should try to avoid. Bread should not be added to the tomato base more than 30 minutes before you plan to serve the soup. Not only will it soak up the liquid if allowed to sit too long, it will also become slimy and the once pleasant texture will become downright unpleasant. If you can avoid that hurdle, I think you'll really like this soup. It is a personal favorite of mine and we have it several times a month when local tomatoes are plentiful. If you have never had a bowl of this peasant favorite, I hope you will give this near effortless version a try. Here is how the soup is made.

Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Anne Burrell

Extra virgin olive oil, plus high quality finishing oil, for garnish
1 large red onion, diced
Kosher salt
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
1 cup white wine
2 pounds ripe summer tomatoes, diced
10 basil leaves, half whole and half cut into chiffonade
2 cups tomato juice
2 cups day-old Italian bread, crusts removed and cubed
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


1) Coat a large wide pot with olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt and crushed red pepper, to taste, and cook until onions are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add wine and cook until it has reduced by half. Stir in tomatoes, season with salt, to taste, and cook until tomatoes are really soft and juicy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Toss in the whole basil leaves.
2) Using an immersion blender, puree tomatoes in pot they cooked in. Add tomato juice and bread. Cook soup over medium heat until bread has completely lost its shape and soup is really thick, about 20 minutes. Taste soup and adjust seasoning, if needed.
3) Ladle soup into bowls and serve garnished with grated cheese, basil chiffonade and a drizzle of finishing oil. Yield: 6 servings.

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David said...

Mary, I really like Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup...but for some reason I just never think about making it. My mistake! Thanks and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

From the Kitchen said...

I agree Mary. There is nothing like a good bowl of soup year around. I'd rather heat up my kitchen and turn the ac down to compensate than stand out in the heat over an even hotter grill. I do need to find a use for all the tomatoes that we're getting.


Linda A. Thompson-Ditch said...

This reminds me of my grandmother's stewed tomatoes, which always had chunks of white sandwich bread cooked in with the tomatoes. I love tomato soup. I love bread. So this one is on my list of soups to try!

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