One of my favorite things about giving up meats for Lent is the chance it gives us to try out new and delicious vegetarian dishes. This, Pappa al Pomodoro, is a tomato soup we’ve often ordered at various Italian restaurants, but had never tried to make at home… until today.
What it is, basically, is tomato soup. Simple, delicious tomato soup- and when made with the best ingredients available, it’s spectacular.
Tomato soup, spectacular? Trust me. This is good stuff.
Homemade Pappa al Pomodoro
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (**Important: buy the BEST canned tomatoes you can find, preferably from Italy, organic if possible)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
3-4 cups day-old country-style bread, chopped or torn
grated Parmesan (or Parmigiano-Reggiano, if you have it)
fresh basil leaves, optional
In a medium sized soup pot over medium, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and about 3/4ths of the onion. Cook for around 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the garlic soft (but NOT burnt). Add diced and crushed tomatoes, and season with salt & pepper.
Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to simmer, add bread pieces- and stir as it simmers… keep stirring and it will thicken, like a stew. You want it nice and thick, but not too thick that you can’t drink it like a soup.
Remove from the heat, season some more if necessary, and serve with grated parmesan and fresh basil (if you like).