Although I utterly adore this simple Italian bread and tomato soup, I haven’t made it myself until recently. I saw no point cooking this with flavourless winter tomatoes, but now when the tomatoes (at least the forced ones) are in season again I just couldn’t wait any longer to make it.
But I will admit it might work even better in the autumn when there are sunwarm tomatoes aplenty but the outside temperatures have dropped slightly. However, serving the pappa al pomodoro with a cold, creamy and mild burrata makes the dish a whole lot more summery. (I have the wonderful restaurant Zucca to thank for that idea.) And you don’t have to serve the soup piping hot either, it is nice when just warm too.
Pappa al pomodoro, serves 2-3
2 medium tomatoes
4 small garlic cloves
1 bunch basil
3-5 tbsp of good quality olive oil
salt and black pepper
400 g tinned tomatoes (whole or chopped)
200 ml water
200 g stale white bread, sourdough or farmhouse style bread
To serve: burrata
Cube the tomatoes and chop half the garlic and add to an ovenproof tray. Also add a third of the basil and drizzle with olive oil. Season. Roast in 200C oven for 20 minutes.
Chop the rest of the basil and garlic. Add to a saucepan and fry in olive oil for a minute or so. Add the tinned tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Break the bread into chunks and add to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes (oil, garlic and all) and mix well. Remove from heat, add olive oil and season to taste. Garnish with some more chopped basil and the burrata.