Pantry friendly, budget friendly and taste bud friendly, this Pappa al Pomodoro packs powerful flavor into the simplest of ingredients.
Roughly translated, Pappa al Pomodoro is tomato bread soup. Talk about making a meal of whatever you have handy!! I imagine the farmers out toiling away in the fields. It’s turn of the century, life is hard, there’s not an abundance of food. The woman stands in the kitchen and looks around. There’s some overripe tomatoes, maybe an onion and some garlic; a few carrots. Then there’s stale bread that more than a few days old. What’s a girl to do?
Cook up some water, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basil from the garden. Hm. That looks pretty thin. What to add what to add? Bread? Why not! It’s sort of stale and the broth will moisten it up. It could also thicken the soup and make it a more hearty meal of leftovers. This is how the conversation would have gone in my head. How does the saying go: necessity of the mother of invention? It’s something like that, anyway.
We’ve all been there. You have hungry mouths to feed and there’s just not enough in the pantry or fridge, for whatever reason. You take a mental inventory of what you have on hand, run through the database of recipes and ideas on your head taking into account flavor combinations, and set out to make some food.
I often wonder how dishes are “invented” and who makes them. Take green bean casserole, for instance. Dorcas Reilly was working at Campbell’s in Camden, New Jersey in 1955. She created a dish based on what most Americans at that time had on hand; green beans and cream of mushroom soup. Would I have thrown those together? No. What would I have made? Probably something with rice which may be way off from that time frame. Maybe rice wasn’t available then? I don’t know. I am just amazed at the food people invent sometimes.
Actually, I will be having one of those moments tonight, probably. Or else the hubs, who is home due a fluke at work, will twist my arm (OW STOP) to order in. This is fine with me, because I’m tired. I’m tired of this tiny kitchen. I really REALLY hope that we can get the loan and move. We just started that process last night. Yipee.
The point is, with just a few simple ingredients, that usually don’t cost all that much, you can have a delicious, filling and HEARTY meal on the table; like this soup. A couple of cans of tomatoes (or some overripe ones from your garden), some onions, celery, carrots, broth, herbs, spices, and some old bread and voila! Dinner is on the table and it is delicious!!
You will not miss the meat in this soup. At least I didn’t. If you’re hankering for a hunk of meat, some left over sausage, chicken, or turkey would be good. Some spare bits of fish or shrimp? Yeah, that would work, too. Whatever you have on hand can go into this pot. That’s the beauty of this recipe; leftovers dream!
- 1 cup diced onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 56 ounces canned, whole, peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons minced basil
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 6 cups fat free vegetable broth
- 8 ounces crusty, day old bread, torn
- Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add the celery and carrots. Saute until the vegetables soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut the whole, peeled tomatoes into large chunks and add to the pot along with their juice, the basil and the Italian seasoning. Simmer until the herbs and spices become aromatic. Add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
- Just before serving, carefully stir in the bread making sure not to over mix; causing the bread to break apart easily.
- Divide evenly between 4 bowls for an entrée or 6 bowls for a soup course.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 197Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 905mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 6gSugar 14gProtein 7g