Pappa di Pomodoro – Bread and Tomato Soup:
This simple rustic soup has its origin in Italy. It works best if you use good, homemade or artisan bread. And, although many recipes will suggest you use fresh tomatoes, I only do so in the summer when the tomatoes in this country are ripe and full of flavour. For the rest of the year, it works very well made with canned tomatoes although it is perhaps not so wonderful eaten cold.
It is very much from the same school as the recipe for Ribollita I learnt cooking in Tuscany. A way to use up left over bread, I first came across it in my local pub and was fascinated at the transformation of the ingredients into something quite glamourous, albeit very substantial and filling!
You’ll find versions of this dish where the bread is chunkier. It’s very much about personal taste and for me also about whether I am serving it hot or cold. The most essential ingredient after the tomatoes is good quality extra virgin olive oil. While you can make a store cupboard version like the one shown here, using canned tomatoes, you really do need olive oil that has some bite to make this dish work.
If you like a spicier version, it’s perfectly acceptable to add in some chilli flakes to the tomato mixture when you are cooking.
The quantities of bread and olive oil in this recipe make it quite high in calories (around 300 calories a serving). And, the winter version I’ve made here really does need plenty of olive oil to be successful, so I haven’t tried to do a 5:2 diet version of this dish. If you want a lower calorie tomato soup for winter, please try my 5-2 diet spicy tomato and lentil soup which works well for the 5:2 diet or any other low calorie diet.