Pappa al Pomodoro di Francesca
This recipe comes from Francesca, a good Italian friend of mine who lives here in Florence. This is the way she prepares this thick bread and tomato soup, a classic Tuscan favorite.
- 500 g (about 2 cups) peeled tomatoes, chopped
- 250 g (about 1/2 lb) stale bread (preferably Tuscan bread), cut into smallish pieces
- 1 liter (about 4 cups) vegetable broth, warmed
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- basil, chopped coarsely
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (you can also use seasoned or spicy oil)
- salt and pepper
- Place the stale bread in a large bowl and pour the warm broth over it, cover and set aside for at least 1 hour.
- Over medium heat and in a wide pot, pour the oil and saut the garlic. Add the tomatoes and a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Go back to your bread, which should have absorbed most of the broth. Add the bread to the pot, squeezing it a bit with your hand as you do so to eliminate any excess broth. Cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon.
- Serve warm, adding a bit of fresh cut basil and a swirl of good olive oil on top. And remember, always cut fresh basil with your hands, not with a knife or scissors!