Pappa al Pomodoro

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” – Lewis Grizzard

So simple and yet so unforgettable! Papa al Pomodoro is a tuscan soup, although it usually and traditionally turns out thick enough to be eaten with a fork!
I love love love fresh tomatoes right off the vine and those are the best for almost any dish! But when the summer is so short, sometimes it is best to go with the ally good canned ones rather than choosing the plastic version of the tomato in thr supermarket.
Whenever tasting this soup, I get the kind of feeling that I had been to Tuscany for real, not just in the movies and know something about the real tastes ‘under the Tuscan sun’.
* 1 kg of fresh tomatoes/ 1 large can of peeled tomatoes in tomato juice
* 300 ml vegetable stock (and of course, for best result – home made)
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* a few sprigs of oregano and basil
* 2 large slices of white bread, preferably a bit dried, a few days old
* 2 garlic cloves
* sea salt and freshly ground pepper
* Parmigiano for serving
Pour the stock in a large skillet, add the tomatoes, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the oil, oregano and basil. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste and slowly heat up to the boiling point, the reducing the heat enough to gently simmer for about 30 minutes.
Toast the bread in the oven or even better – on the grill (a version for lazy ones or those in a hurry – use the toaster). Toast the bread until golden brown, then transfer to a plate and rub in the garlic. I like rubbing it also with a bit of ripe tomato. Not sure if it adds much to the taste of it, but somehow it just feels right to do so :). Sprinkle the bread with the remaining oil and mash the bread with a fork, breaking it into small pieces.
Add the bread to the soup and stir, leaving it on a low heat for another 5 minutes or so, until the bread is well incorporated and thickens the soup.
Serve hot, topped with a bit of grated Parmiggiano and a few basil leaves. Pappa al Pomodoro may also be served cold.

Bon appetit!

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