Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31: Papa al Pomodoro

1 can tomato soup
8 slices bread
4 slices American cheese
some margarine for spreading

Spread the slices of bread with margarine.

Place 4 slices, margarine side down, in the pan with a slice of cheese on each. Place the last 4 slices of bread on each margarine side up. Cook over medium heat for 4 minutes on each side.

Cook the tomato soup according to package directions.

Serve the sandwiches alongside the soup for dipping.


Ok, so this is not really the recipe for Papa al Pomodoro. This is what we ate for dinner tonight (the girls had tomato soup, my husband and I had leftover salsa stoup-it's finally gone now). This is what RR says about Papa al Pomodoro:

"This thick soup is a ribollita (stale bread soup) made with tons of tomatoes. Torello (literally, "The Bull") from Florence makes his with tomatoes grown on his own land in Tuscany. At his restaurant, Il Latini, he taught me the manner - the only manner - in which one eats any type of ribollita: with chopped raw onions and a drizzle of EVOO on top. If you are not committed to this process or if you don't do raw onions, skip this recipe. You're not to eat it any other way. Torello will find out, and I'll be in for it!"

So since I have permission to skip it, I did. I made this recipe last year and here is what I wrote about it: "Too tomatoey for Mark, Too bready (soggy) for me." I didn't like it. Here is the recipe in case you like soggy bread soup:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock or broth
4 cups chopped or torn stale bread
2 15-ounce cans small white beans, such as Goya brand
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to pass at the table
10 fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)

Heat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the 3 tablespoons of EVOO, the garlic and three fourths of the onions. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, then add the diced and crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and raise the heat to make the soup bubble. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the bread and beans. Stir the soup as it simmers until it thickens to stew-like consistency. A wooden spoon should be able to stand upright in the pot.

Turn off the heat, adjust the seasonings and ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Top with grated cheese, an additional drizzle of EVOO, a spoonful of the reserved finely chopped raw onions, and torn basil. The basil, and only the basil, is optional.


I liked the toppings, but that was about the only part of the soup I liked.

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