Fare With A Flair: Simple soup simply delicious

Fare With A Flair: Simple soup simply delicious

Fare With A Flair: Simple soup simply delicious

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It’s no secret that I love to make soup. Having written two cookbooks on the topic, it really is my all-time favourite thing to prepare in the kitchen and share with family and friends.

Knowing that this time of year is when we need comforting meals, I’m passing along a recipe for one of the easiest soups I know.

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It’s an Italian soup called pappa al pomodoro, and basically it’s a Tuscan soup made with stale bread and tomatoes. The good thing is you can use canned tomatoes.

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While this unusual combo might sound just too simple, the result is so delicious.

The recipe gets a good start with sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil and is finished with fresh basil and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan or Romano cheese.

This recipe appeared in my cookbook Jill’s Soups Stews & Breads. The recipe is courtesy of Josie Pontarelli, who co-authored the book with me in 2016.

Pappa al pomodoro

Serves 6-8

1/4 cup (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, very thinly sliced

3. cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

2 -28 oz. (796ml) cans plum tomatoes

2 cans cold water

2 whole bay leaves

4 cup (1litre) stale good quality bead, torn into bite sized chunks

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 bunch of fresh basil

1 cup (250 ml) shaved Parmesan or pecorino romano

Extra virgin olive oil for garnish


1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook gently until soft and fragrant, but not brown. Stir in the garlic.

2. Crush tomatoes with your hands and add to the pot along with their juice, water, bay leaves and a good pinch of salt. Simmer gently until the tomatoes are soft.

3. Stir in bread and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the bread pieces. The bread should be very soft.

4. Tear basil into soup and stir in half of the cheese. Season with salt to taste.

5. Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some freshly cracked pepper.

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