Friday, April 29, 2011

Pappa al Pomodoro

This recipe is fantastic!! I love making soups, I think it's a wonderful way to get a load of vegetables into your diet. Even my husband adores this soup and he is extremely picky. I thought the recipe sounded funny at first because it was served with croutons on top. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized how not weird it was. We put crackers in our soup, why not croutons? Well, I don't think I will have soup any other way now- it is SO good! And how clever to add bread to thicken a soup, especially if you have leftover bakery bread hanging around. I've used french and italian bread before too and it works perfectly fine as well. Sometimes it's hard to fine ciabatta unfortunately. Really though, if you like soups, please try this. It is our go to soup for company and I make it regularly with dinner. You should also know that this is an Ina Garten recipe (Barefoot Contessa on Food Network) and I think that she is ammmmazing. Honestly, I don't think I have ever made a recipe of hers that I haven't liked. I always trust her. And you should too.

Pappa al Pomodoro

1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup medium diced carrots, unpeeled (3 carrots)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and medium diced (1 1/2 cups)
4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
3 cups (1 inch) diced ciabatta bread, crusts removed
2 (28 oz) cans crushed Italian plum tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup chopped basil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

3 cups (1/2 inch) diced ciabatta bread
olive oil
salt and pepper

1.) Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, fennel and garlic and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender. Add ciabatta cubes and cook for 5 more minutes. Add tomatoes along with chicken stock, red wine, basil, 1 Tb salt, and 1 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring soup to a boil, lower the heat, and allow to simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.
2.) Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place ciabatta on a large sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, until crisp.
3.) Beat with whisk to break up bread or use immersion blender to desired consistency. Stir in parmesan cheese and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with croutons.

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