30 December 2008

Welcome in the New Year with Pappa al Pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro

As my final recipe for 2008 I leave you with Ina Garten's version of the classic Tuscan soup pappa al pomodoro, a hearty tomato/bread soup. This is perfect in so many ways to end 2008.

As part of my continued saga of being part of the illustrious group the Barefoot Bloggers . I am rolling up my shirt sleeves and cooking up this soup as my final tribute to 2008 with one of my idols the Barefoot Contessa and all the other wonderful members of this close knit group. We're cooks and bakers with a love for all things Ina. We test and retest Ina Garten's recipes as a whole and then blog about our results and recipes on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. Because of the holidays we were given a little leeway. As you can tell I have been making all things Ina as of late!!!!



Not only is this our final challenge and a great way to end the year but it is also featured in a cookbook I received from The Boy at Christmas. The recipe can be found on page 68 of Ina's latest venture Back to Basics. Pappa al Pomodoro was chosen by Natalie of Burned Bits.

"Half-soup and half-sauce, pappa al pomodoro is little more than ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and day-old bread. Think of this Tuscan staple as a warm, spoonable tomato-bread salad, or perhaps a savory, sexed-up porridge, if your imagination will stretch that far. It’s just the thing for a gusty, blustery night at the cusp of winter", says Molly of Orangette. In Tuscan kitchens of the past this soup was very much a homey dish, a tasty summer way to use up leftover bread that no decent housewife would have dreamed of serving to a guest. Now it's on the menus of Florence's trendier restaurants.

You want to use a dense, crusty bread, then let it get stale for two days which isn't suggested in this recipe but is recommended.

This recipe brings a taste of summer to your dining in mid winter. If you are "down under" or want to try making this again in the summer months use 5 pounds of fresh garden picked tomatoes instead of the canned. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Score a large “X” on the underside of half of the tomatoes, just breaking the skin. Gently ease them, one at a time, into the boiling water. Within 15 or so seconds, the skin should begin to curl back in sheets from the center of the “X.” When this occurs, remove the tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon, and place them on a cutting board. Peel them; the skin should slip away easily. Trim them, as well as the unpeeled tomatoes, of any blemishes or under-ripe areas; core them; and coarsely chop them into ¼-inch bits, taking care not to lose any juice. Scoop the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl, and set it aside.

Expect your guests to want seconds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Once again I wish you all a safe and happy New year. I cherish the time I have spent with each and every one of you in 2008. We know that 2009 will rock!!!!!!

happy new year, prost Neujahr, kali chronia , nav varsh ki subhkamna, boldog új évet, felice anno nuovo, gelukkige nuwejaar, bon any nou, bonne année, selamat tahun baru, feliz año nuevo,

**Pappa al Pomodoro**


1/2 cup good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
1 cup medium-diced carrots, unpeeled (3 carrots)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and medium-diced (1 1/2 cups)
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
3 cups (1-inch) diced ciabatta cubes, crusts removed
2 (28-ounce) cans good Italian plum tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

For the topping:

3 cups (1-inch) diced ciabatta cubes
2 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, chopped
24 to 30 whole fresh basil leaves
3 T good olive oil, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender. Add the ciabatta cubes and cook for 5 more minutes. Place the tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process just until coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the chicken stock, red wine, basil, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and allow to simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the topping, place the ciabatta cubes, pancetta, and basil on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, until all the ingredients are crisp. The basil leaves will turn dark and crisp, which is perfectly fine. Reheat the soup, if necessary, beat with a wire whisk until the bread is broken up. Stir in the Parmesan and taste for seasoning. Serve hot sprinkled with the topping and drizzled with additional olive oil.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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22 comments:

  1. Your soup turned out looking great. I really loved this recipe--one of my favorite Ina's so far I think. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

    Aloha,

    Deb

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  2. Oh good Lord, this looks amazing! I keep looking at the photo over and over! I could eat this every day of the week. The flavors in the soup itself sound terrific with that fennel, carrot, onion, garlic combo. And that topping ... wow! This is a keeper for sure! Happy New Year! Looking forward to your 2009 posts!

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  3. Happy New Year to you Valli!
    I have really enjyed reading your blog and am looking forward to another great year.

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  4. Delicious, as usual!

    Happy New Year and best wishes for 2009!

    Cheers,

    Rosa xoxo

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  5. Totally gorgeous Val! and how I wish I could have that at midnight!
    Happy New Year, health and happiness.

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  6. Absolutely delicious Val! All the best for 2009! Happy New Year!

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  7. This is one soup I have to make, everybody has been raving about it.
    Gotta love Ina!
    Have a wonderful New Year.

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  8. Oh how good this would taste with summer tomatoes! Honestly you make the best recipes Val. I'm so looking forward to seeing everything you post for 2009, Happy New Year!

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  9. What a way to end 2008! It's so hearty and loving sounding...like a big hug!

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  10. We are looking forward to more delicious recipes created from Ina Garten. My best wishes to you and LiBuTo!! Happy New Year!!

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  11. Molto bene, Val! It looks fab. A very Happy New Year to you too. I hope is all you want it to be.

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  12. Happy New Year Val! Here's to another year of blogging together!

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  13. happy new year val
    it's been cold enough in hania just lately (seriously) to enjoy soup on a daily basis, this one looks so comforting

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  14. That soup does look good!
    A very happy new year to you and your family x

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  15. yep, this is a great way to usher in the new year. and every new day, for that matter. :)

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  16. YUM, that looks SO delicious. Soup is my favorite but soup with bread makes it even better :)

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  17. Gorgeous, Val! I think I might well be making a version of this tonight - I need something simple and rich in veggies.

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  18. Happy New Year! I'm about to thaw the rest of mine now. Soooooo good.

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  19. Happy New Year! This soup looks fabulous. I love dipping crusty bread in soup, and here the work has already been done for me.

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  20. I'm not a huge soup person, but pappa al pomodoro is my absolute favorite soup ever. I was introduced to this in Italy and fell in love. It looks excellent! I hope you and your have a happy new year!

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  21. Happy New Year!

    I love pappa al pomodoro. Last summer I found a recipe (I think in Food and Wine) from the chef at Sting and Trudie's Tuscany estate. With summer tomatoes, this is one of hte best things going.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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