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
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.
One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today:Refrigerator Dill Pickles Cream Cheese Apple Cake
Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today:Cold Herb Marinated Green Beans Pastitsio - Lamb and Eggplant Casserole