Last night I posted a story about the Pappa al Pomodoro (Tomato and Bread Soup) I was going to attempt to recreate for dinner. Well, We Are Never Full readers, the recreation was a success! I really hope some of you will try to make this hearty, delicious and simple recipe. It was very easy to make and although we say “we are never full”, I have to sheepishly admit, one bowl of this rich soup and I was freaking full (and I am a girl who can EAT). It may be the fact that I was sneaking tastes as the soup simmered or that I decided to add my own mozzarella topped ‘crutons’ and ended up eating a few as they came out of the oven. Regardless, the bread that mixes in with the soup at the end really does help fill you up, even if it is in that momentary, carb-only-meal kind of a way.
Now that the recipe has been tested, I offer it to you. Bring the flavors of Florence and Coco Lezzone into your home (damn, that sounded like an info-mercial…kill me!). ***Notice that my recreation looks a bit chunkier than the Coco Lezzone one. Personally, I think part of that has to do with the fact that my leeks were not FINELY chopped. If you can use a chopper to really finely chop your leeks, I recommend it.
PAPPA AL POMODORO ALA COCO LEZZONE (Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup the Coco Lezzone Way)
Ingredients (Serves 2-3 for a good hearty portion):
- 4 1/2 cups (or two 28oz. cans) of pureed plum tomatoes (San Marzano are best)
- **buy the Whole/Peeled canned tomatoes in thick puree and puree it in a food processor yourself. Not necessary, but this helps you adjust the texture of your puree.
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped (the finer the better) – only the light green and white parts
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup of beef broth (or a mixture of half beef broth/half chicken broth) – or use veggie broth to keep in vegetarian
- 10 slices of day-old, dense bread (sliced in 1/2” to 3/4” slices) – I used a Portuguese “baguette”
- **Traditionally, this dish is made with Tuscan salt-less bread. My guess is, no one will find this bread in their local shop considering once you leave Tuscany you can barely get this bread.
- **Also, you can put your slices in the oven to create that “day old” feel if you didn’t give it a day to get more stale. Just heat your oven to like 275 and heat your slices up for about 15 minutes.
- Salt and Pepper
- Chiffonade of fresh basil
What to do:
- Drain the insides of your whole, peeled tomatoes. Sometimes the juice that is in there (and the seeds) are just unnecessary when making a nice, thick sauce or soup. Puree the tomatoes along with the thick puree they came in.
- Add your olive oil to your pot and sautee your garlic for a minute and a half over medium heat.
- Lower your heat a bit (to about medium-low) and add your finely chopped leek . Do not let your leeks brown, you just want them to get soft. This could take 10-15 minutes.
- Add your pureed tomatoes and the broth and let simmer (adjust heat to allow simmer) for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, add your ‘stale’ bread slices to the puree, make sure each piece is completely submerged (fold in).
- Turn off the heat and cover your soup. Let sit for another 10-15 minutes.
- After it has rested, stir for a few moments with a wire whisk. All your bread should actually have ‘dissolved’ into the soup creating a thick, porridge-like look.
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper, whisk again. Serve with Mozzarella Croutons (melt some sliced mozzerella on some extra slices of your bread with a bit of olive oil, pepper and basil).
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