Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nigel's Pappa al Pomodoro: Tomato & Bread Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

In terms of looks, Pappa al Pomodoro is a bit of a hot mess in a bowl. Definitely more peasant, than elegant. Flavor and satisfaction are where its beauty lies. The chunks of thick bread sopping up all of the lovely ripe tomatoes and their juices. This is Nigel Slater's Classic Pappa al Pomodoro, with a bit of a twist that he mentions--adding roasted red pepper for a more Mediterranean feel. Using a combination of canned plum tomatoes plus perfectly ripe local Romas and fresh basil, it's a bit of summer in a bowl.

Nigel says, "The deeply satisfying classic soup pappa al pomodoro is an excellent way of using up a glut of tomatoes. A thick soup, no doubt designed to make tomato soup substantial enough to eat as a main course, it is often made entirely with canned tomatoes, but better if you include some sun-ripened fresh ones."

Pappa al Pomodoro Soup
Adapted from Nigel Slater via The Guardian
(Serves 4)

200g (about 8 oz) ripe tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic (I used 3 large cloves)
400g (14-15 oz) can plum tomatoes
12-15 basil leaves
4-5 slices bread

(I added 1 cup packed of roasted red pepper puree)
(I drizzled pesto and sprinkled small basil leaves on top)

Roughly chop 200g ripe, sweet-sharp tomatoes. Warm 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, then add a couple of cloves of peeled and sliced garlic. Let them soften for a minute or two then add the tomatoes and a 400g can of plum tomatoes, then a can full of water. Bring to the boil, then immediately turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. 

Add 12 -15 large basil leaves, salt and black pepper and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Tear up four or five thick slices of good bread, push them down into the soup then serve in deep bowls, trickled with olive oil. 

The Twist: I have eaten versions of this soup with roasted peppers in, turning it instantly into something more Mediterranean. Add them finely sliced and with a good pinch of sugar once the tomatoes have softened. I also like to blitz a little basil with olive oil to make a highly fragrant seasoning to pour over at the end.

Notes/Results: Thick, rich and very satisfying and quite a vibrant color too. I like the addition of the red pepper flavor. Nigel recommends slicing them thinly but I was looking for the flavor rather than the texture. The thin pesto drizzled on top adds a nice touch too. A great bowl of soup for a summer evening outside. I would make this again.

This soup is linking up for Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. The chance to make any Nigel Slater recipe or any dish from the previous IHCC chefs. You can check out what everyone made via the picture links on the post.

In the Souper Sundays kitchen with me this week is Joyce of Kitchen Flavours sharing her version of Giada's Chicken Stew. Joyce says, "No wonder there are so many good reviews about this dish at foodnetwork. This is one delicious stew! We ate this for our dinner on Sunday, with store-bought crusty bread. Such a simple meal, yet so satisfying. The veggies are tender-soft without being mushy. I cut the cooked chicken meat into bite-sized chunky pieces, discarding the bones, and the meat is tender and so tasty from the simmering with the herbs and veggies. I can see this stew appearing in my kitchen anytime in the near future!

Thanks to Joyce for joining me this week. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week! 


  1. Couscous & ConsciousnessAugust 24, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Deb, this is an utterly satisfying and comforting bowl of soup. Love the addition of the roasted peppers and the drizzle of pesto at the end.

  2. I tried pappa al pomodoro in Florence years ago - I couldn't believe that something that sounded so bad could taste so good! But I really like your basil oil addition.

  3. That soup sounds very tasty with that lovely combination of tomatoes, roasted peppers and basil.

  4. Hi Deb,
    I have never head of this soup before. I like the name!
    It looks delicious, and I can almost taste the sweetness and flavours of the tomatoes and peppers! Looks yummy!
    Thanks for featuring my soup for Souper Sundays!


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