Monday, November 3, 2008

Pappa Al Pomodoro

We had our first rain of the season this weekend (of course, it rained on our garage sale day!). It's colder now, yet we still have tomatoes is a nice fall recipe from Jamie's Italy that I love making. It's so easy and takes no time at all and is delicious! Hopefully the canned tomatoes you use are from your HUGE HARVEST that you CANNED YOURSELF, but if not, my favorite brand in the world is San Marzano! Also, this soup is great with the bread on the side as well!

about 1 lb ripe cherry tomatoes (I use a variety of tomatoes here, whatever is growing in the garden that is ripe)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
a large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stems finely chopped
the best extra virgin olive oil you can find
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
two 14 oz cans of good quality plum tomatoes
about 1 lb. or 2 large handfuls of stale, good quality bread

Prick the cherry tomatoes and toss them with one sliced clove of garlic and a quarter of the basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put them in a roasting pan, and cook in the oven at 350F for about 20 minutes.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pot and add the remaining garlic and the basil stems. Stir around and gently fry for a minute, until softened. Add your canned tomatoes, then fill the can 1/2 way with water, and add that. Break the tomatoes up with a spoon, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Tear the bread up into thumb-sized pieces and add them to the pan. Mi well and season to taste. Tear in the basil leaves and let the soup sit on low heat for 10 minutes. By this time your roasted tomatoes will be done, with juice bursting out of their skins, so remove them from the pan, remembering to scrape the lovely sticky bits from the bottom. Pour them into the soup with all the juices, basil, an oil from the pan.

Give the soup a good stir - you're looking to achieve a thick, silky, porridgy texture, so feel free to adjust it with a little water. Them remove it from the heat and add 6-7 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Divide between your bowls and serve with a little extra basil torn over the top if you like. The most important thing with this soup is that you have a wonderfully intense sweet tomato basil flavor!



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