Quite some time ago, I posted another recipe for Tomato and Bread Soup, but with all the wonderful tomatoes ripe for the eating, I thought I'd give you an even easier recipe, this one dating back centuries. Pure Tuscany. :)
Right now, we're awaiting Hurricane Irene. The clouds are low and heavy outside my window, and its pretty breezy. The main part of the storm will come later tonight. So, my rationale for making this soup, which is more like a porridge, is that you don't have to heat it. You can serve it room temperature. If I loose power, I'm not going to go hungry. With this stick to your ribs recipe, I'll be set. I hope you'll give it a try, even if it's a beautiful day in your neighborhood.
Pappa al Pomodoro
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
1 lb very ripe tomatoes, or 1 lb canned
1 large loaf country bread, several days old (I used Trader Joe's Olive Baguette)
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth, heated
5 basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Warm olive oil in soup pot. Add garlic and pepper flakes, and saute very gently on low for 10 minutes.
If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them in salted boiling water, then quarter them, remove seeds and add to pot. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Cut bread into small pieces and add to pot, along with broth, salt, pepper and whole basil leaves. Stir very well and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 1-2 hours.
When ready to serve, stir very well to break up all the bread pieces and place in individual serving bowls. If desired, pour a little additional olive oil on top. Traditionally, grated cheese is not used.