I wanted to write this post when I got back from my Italy trip but decided to wait because this dish is the perfect Ramadan dish. Pappa la pomodoro is a traditional Tuscan bread and tomato soup.
The first time I saw it was on a food TV show a couple of years ago and I was intrigued. I took my copy of The Silver Spoon and searched for the recipe but I didn’t quite like the method. I kind of remembered how they made it on the show so I picked and chose what ingredients and method of cooking I was more comfortable with and created this recipe.
I have made this dish numerous times and every time it’s a little bit different because I never follow a recipe so it was always a couple of this , a pinch of this, a handful of this but yesterday I measured everything to have a recipe people can actually follow!
Of course when I was in Florence, I had this wonderful soup so let’s make a comparison.
To make this soup is fairly simple although it is quite time consuming. You will need at least 1.5 hours to spare.
- 4 medium sized carrots, peeled, quarted lengthwise and diced
- 1 celery stick, diced (in Sultan Centre buy the ones that are individually wrapped)
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 10 medium sized tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped *
- 1 loaf of 1 day old bread, sliced and cubed (preferably country style bread)**
- Parmesan cheese (for serving)
*To skin the tomatoes, place them in bowl of boiling hot water for 1-2 minutes and then quickly move them to a bowl of cold water. This will make it easier for peeling.
** I never have 1 day old bread laying around so I usually slice the bread and toast them. Also, Tuscan use their own bread which is unsalted but this is not readily available in Kuwait.
Prepare the holy trinity: garlic, carrots and celery
In a large heavy-bottomed pot heat a splash of good quality extra virgin olive oil. I used my lovely Tuscan olive oil. Add the garlic for 1 minute and then add the celery and carrots. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and then cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens (see below). Season generously with salt and pepper
Now it’s time to add the bread. Please note that you most likely won’t use the entire loaf. Add a handful at a time and mix and then until you feel the sauce can’t soak up anymore bread. Then add 1 liter of water and mix.
Reduce heat to low and cook for about 30 minutes until you get a thick, almost like محروق صبعة consistency. Refer to image below. Check the seasoning for any adjustments.
When you’re ready to serve, pour the soup in a soup tureen or any deep serving dish you like. Drizzle some of the extra viring olive oil and parmesan shavings.
Serve with extra parmesan cheese and the olive oil. I always like to add more cheese.
This is the perfect Ramadan futoor dish so do try it!