Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Bread and Tomato Soup: Garden to Pantry Goodness for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Good soups make you happy when your spoon hits your mouth, feeling warmed, satisfied and content. This Bread and Tomato Soup from Jamie Oliver made me happy the moment I started preparing it. The moment the scent from the roasting cherry tomatoes, basil and garlic hit my nose, followed by the aroma of the tomato base bubbling away on the stove hit my nose, I knew it was going to be delicious. This isn't a fancy soup, but when the garden (fresh local baby tomatoes and a rustic garlic loaf from the farmers market, plus basil from the pots on my lanai) combines with the pantry (boxed Pomi tomatoes and a head of garlic), it makes a bowl full of goodness to savor.

This coming week the theme is Soups, Salads and Sammies at I Heart Cooking Clubs (believe it or not, I didn't pick it!) ;-) I am a day early with this soup, but once I had it in my head I just had to make it.

Jamie says, "This Tuscan soup is delicious – it’s a soup everyone should try. Just thinking of it makes me salivate! It’s a family-friendly soup – babies and grandparents (both without teeth!) can eat it with gusto. I’ve added roasted cherry tomatoes to my recipe but it also works really well just with canned tomatoes. The great thing is that it takes only 20 minutes to cook, so go for it! PS. Use a stale white country-style loaf – not cheap sliced white factory bread."

Bread and Tomato Soup
by Jamie Oliver at
(Makes 4 {or More} Servings)

about 1 lb ripe cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
a large bunch of fresh basil, leaves
picked, stems finely chopped
the best extra virgin olive oil you can find
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (14 oz) cans of good-quality plum tomatoes
about 1 lb or 2 large handfuls of stale good-quality bread

Prick the cherry tomatoes and toss them with one sliced clove of garlic and a quarter of the basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put them in a roasting pan, and cook in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes. The reason for doing this is so that their flavor becomes intense and concentrated.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pot and add the remaining garlic and the basil stems. Stir around and gently fry for a minute, until softened. Add your canned tomatoes, then fill the can with water and add that. Break the tomatoes up with a spoon, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Tear the bread up into thumb-sized pieces and add them to the pan. Mix well and season to taste.

Tear in the basil leaves and let the soup sit on a low heat for 10 minutes. By this time your roasted tomatoes will be done, with juice bursting out of their skins, so remove them from the pan, remembering to scrape all the lovely sticky bits from the bottom. Pour them into the soup with all the juices, basil, and oil from the pan.

Give the soup a good stir – you’re looking to achieve a thick, silky, porridgy texture, so feel free to adjust it with a little water. Then remove it from the heat and add 6 or 7 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Divide between your bowls and serve with a little extra basil torn over the top if you like. The most important thing with this soup is that you have a wonderfully intense sweet tomato basil flavor.

Notes/Results: A flavorful soup that tastes like a warm summer day. Fragrant and filling and simple to make, this is a great version of a classic Pappa al Pomodoro. (Not my favorite version of this soup--that honor belongs to Ina Garten's with it's baked pancetta, ciabatta and basil topping, but still really delicious and it's vegan to boot.) The roasted cherry tomatoes add a layer of flavor to the canned tomatoes--so if you can with them. I followed the recipe fairly closely, except I reduced the olive oil down by about half which was plenty, and my bread was fresh, not stale. I also added one box of Pomi chopped tomatoes and one box of the puree to keep it thick and silky, I thought about pureeing it a little to break up some of the cherry tomatoes a bit more but instead I used a spoon to it break it up and that worked just fine. An easy and satisfying dinner, I would happily make it again.

We have some friends waiting in the Souper Sunday kitchen, let's go take a look.

Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food made a healthy, soupish Sambar - Split Peas with Vegetables. She says, "Earlier, this Indian Sambar (Yellow Split Peas with Vegetables) was far from perfect. As it is my favorite Indian gravy-based wholesome vegetarian dish, I recently refined and improved it with the some key tips from my friend's mother. This time, nearer perfection."

Sharon, The Travel Cook from Brain Food is here with a Cactus Salad, made in her hotel room in New Mexico. She says, "I know cactus is not on everyone's wish list when they are hungry, but just one look at all the valuable nutrients and you may change your mind. The real salad was a bit too real for my gourmand photographer, so I tamed it down a bit by adding some of the fresh fruits found at the market today."

Janet from The Taste Space has both a salad and a salad dressing that she would like to highlight this week. First her Wheat Berry Salad with Pomegranate-Roasted Vegetables, about which she says, "I had a recent hankering for pomegranate-roasted vegetables. I wanted to add them to a wheat berry salad. At first, I scoured the web for other pomegranate-grilled vegetables, but then I remembered I already knew the perfect glaze! Last year, I made a delectable pomegranate-glazed salmon that combined a simple glaze of pomegranate molasses with olive oil, but then it was heightened with fresh lemon juice, maple syrup and chopped basil. Therefore, I based my new recipe on that template, adding more pomegranate molasses and less maple syrup, because I wanted a more pronounced deep pomegranate flavour."

Janet also has a new favorite, this 3-2-1 Simple Salad Dressing to share and says, "I am sure most people don’t need much guidance in the simple salad dressing component, but I thought this was definitely worthy to share. It is a healthy and vibrant dressing, so totally Janet-style. Throw it on top of your favourite leafy greens and enjoy!"

Stash from The Spamwise Chronicles made a colorful Heirloom Tomato Salad with Garlic Croutons and says, "September in New York is my favorite time of the year, food-wise, because of all the wonderful produce that’s available at the market. Ripe tomatoes, fragrant peppers, luscious eggplant and flavorful peaches … these are the stuff that dreams are made of. It’s a season that’s all too brief. Heirloom tomatoes are at the peak of flavor, so enjoy them while they last. With autumn knocking on the threshold, it’ll be October before you know it."

Simona from briciole created this summery Roasted Corn Salad with Hearts of Palm, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon Cucumber and says, "As a child, I ate corn at most once a year, if we happened to visit a family of friends, who grew some in their garden, on harvest day. They would build a fire and we had roasted corn for dinner. I was an adult the first time I had a salad made of corn; the other ingredients were hearts of palm and diced Emmenthal cheese. So, in today's recipe, I pair the two memories I just described: roasted corn and a corn salad that includes hearts of palm.The center of attention of the salad is roasted corn."

Lauren from Healthy. Delicious. made these tasty Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Pitas and says, "As the days get shorter and the evenings start to get that fall chill to them, I’m making an effort to squeeze in every last little bit of grilling that I want to do. These grilled vegetable sandwiches are an old favorite that I had forgotten about until recently. I’m really happy that I remembered them though, because they’re super simple to make and are full of fresh summertime flavors."

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes tried these Toasted Turkey Sandwich with Quick Pickled Cucumbers and says, "...last month when the July/August issue of Everyday Food arrived, I marked a turkey sandwich recipe. I left the magazine open on the arm of my chair, as a constant reminder that this recipe was going to be made. And made, it was. And excellent, it was. Followed the recipe exactly, except that I could find any store bought tapenade. So, I made my own, which basically amounted to me tossing all the olives I had, some roasted red peppers, some pepperoncini peppers, capers, garlic, a little olive oil and salt and pepper in a food processor, with a little basil vinegar. Better than store bought!!!"

A lovely little group of recipes this week--mahalo to everyone who joined in. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I'm excited for soup and sammie week at IHCC. I have my choices already picked out! This tomato soup looks full of freshness and I love roasting those little cherry tomatoes. So fun when you can prepare something with so many local ingredients.

    Lots of tasty items in the SS kitchen this week. I've got my eye on some of those salads.

  2. Thanks for the round up! Lovely!

  3. You know, I have never made pappa col pomodoro. It's kind of a long story to explain why. In any case, I like the idea of using roasted cherry tomatoes. A nice selection of various dishes for this week's Souper Salad: thanks for the roundup!

  4. I had pappa al pomodoro in Florence a few years ago - I couldn't believe how much flavour was in such simple ingredients.

  5. The combination of tomatoes and basil can't help but make me giddy. Summer in a bowl!

  6. This may be my favorite theme so far. Well, in the top five anyway! I was curious about the bread tomato soup, lovely job here.

  7. I can almost taste that soup! It sounds so good and fresh and bright!

  8. Everything looks delicious. The only problem being which to choose :-). I always love the round-up.I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  9. The bread and tomato sounds very tasty! Just perfect for the season!

  10. wow I need to make this looks amazing and the bread would make it nice and filling

  11. I am loving the seasonal soup and salad ideas. Another delicious round-up, Deb. :)

  12. I'm all over tomato soup right now! I've grown tired of all the fresh ones even though I'll miss them come November! I am, however, loving them in soup and this one looks great!

  13. The pics of this recipe look amazing. I wish you had smell-o-vision for this post!

  14. Lovely! All the flavours of a warm summer day. Beautiful!

  15. From previous Jamie Oliver experience, I know that roasted cherry tomatoes = yum. I have no doubt that this soup is delicious. Can see why you couldn't wait to make this. I like how you describe it as a warm summer day.

  16. I have fallen more in love with tomatoes this summer than ever before. Your soup looks wonderful and oh the basil!

  17. I go ga ga for this sort of food.


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