Saturday, March 3, 2007

Tuscan Style Tomato and Bread Soup

Pappa al Pomodoro (Servings: 8)

Five ½ inch thick slices Italian bread with crusts removed, approximately 3 cups
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus another 3 tablespoons for drizzling
1 cup finely sliced summer onions
1/2 cup shredded carrots
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cubed
4 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
10 basil leaves
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano.

Directions: Remove all crusts from the bread and soak the white part of the bread in a large bowl of water for approximately 5 minutes. Squeeze the bread with your hands until all of the water drains out.

In a 4-5 quart pot, heat the three tablespoons of olive oil over medium meat. Add the onions, carrots and garlic and cook together until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Then add the 4 cups of water and cook for approximately ½ hour. Then add the bread. Season lightly with salt and pepper, add the basil leaves and then adjust the level to heat so that the soup simmers. You should cook the soup for another ½ hour, whisking occasionally to break up the pieces of bread until the soup becomes dense.

Salt and pepper to taste, serve in warm bowls, drizzled with the remaining 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the Parmigiano Reggiano.

Tuscan Style Tomato and Bread Soup -- Recipe by Fortunato Nicotra, Executive Chef of Felidia Ristorante, NYC

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