Winter tomato & bread soup

Winter tomato & bread soup

Pappa al pomodoro invernale a ‘la Mandriola’

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
8
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Pappa al pomodoro always contains a huge amount of olive oil. Don’t stint on this, as it just won’t be the same velvety rich soup without it. The soup is thickened with the saltless Tuscan bread. This is hard to get outside Tuscany, so you can use a robust white country loaf instead. Test a little bread first to see how it behaves in the soup – not all bread works well: sourdough is too strong in flavour and some white bread becomes cloying. Chef Daniela, at the hilltop agriturismo La Mandriola, makes this soup all year round, swapping mint for basil when she has it. This is her winter version, which uses passata or tinned tomatoes. In summer you can make your own passata. Pappa al pomodoro should always be served lukewarm, not hot.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
8 small sage leaves
4 small garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 x 400g tins whole plum tomatoes
or 800g Fresh tomato passata
250g stale bread, crusts removed and cut into approx. 3 cm cubes
1 litre Poached chicken & chicken stock
or Vegetable stock
15 large basil or mint leaves

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan with the sage and garlic over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Add the salt and a twist of pepper, followed by the tomatoes. Mash the tomatoes in the pan with a potato masher. Add the bread and stock to the pan and stir through. Cook the soup for up to 30 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon and letting it bubble away slowly until the bread has softened and broken down into the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil or mint leaves and allow to cool a little before serving.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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