Updated: Apr 18
Hello guys, welcome back to another Italian/Romanian fusion recipe!
In Italy there is a big tradition of the so called 'pappa al pomodoro' which is basically a creamy tomato soup with bread inside.
That reminds me that I also had a very creepy doll, Bebi Mia, yes spelled like that unfortunately. She had a disk inside her back and she used to sing the song 'Viva la pappa al pom0doro' from Rita Pavoni (old but super famous Italian singer) because it was a typical food for kids. I absolutely loved feeding her from her little empty plate at the time, now that I looked at her after 20 years she gives my chills....
Anyway, all this faff to say that it is a very old and poor recipe that my grandma used to do when I was little but now it is not very popular among the new generation.
The last time I visited Romania, I tried an amazing tomato soup in a typical restaurant that remembered me about my childhood, even if the recipe was a bit different: watery like a broth but super tasty.
So I decided to do my own version of them both! I had a look online and mixed the Romanian recipe with the Italian version. Being the first time I think a did a decent job, even if I say so myself, but it still needs some more adjustments.
I was lucky enough to have some home made tomato pelati my mum sent me in the summer and to be honest I was a bit scared to ruin them...actually they really contribute to make this dish a lot better since it is pretty difficult to find a good quality tomato pelati in London. If you don't have home made ones, I usually buy the Cirio ones. Stay away from Napolina brand though...they are terribly acidic and you will need a whole pack of sugar to make it of the right sweetness.
-2 paprika red peppers
-Half red onion
-2 jar of tomato pelati
-Half bottle tomato passata
-1 big slice of celeriac
-2 stalks of celery
-2 medium carrots
-Half a teaspoon of salt
-A teaspoon of paprika
-A teaspoon of sugar
-Half a teaspoon of pepper
-Cheddar to serve
-Start cleaning, peeling and chopping all your veggies. If you can't be bothered to do it by hand just use a blender.
-Put the kettle on with 1.5 ltr of water to boil.
-Pour two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and toss the chopped vegetables inside. Season them with salt and pepper and add the thyme. Cook at high heat for 5-6 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon every now and then.
-When the water is boiling, add half of it to the pot with the veggies and then add the vegetable stock. Stir well in order to melt it properly.
-Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
-Add the tomato passata + the pelati and cook for other 10 minutes with the lid on. You may need to add more water from the kettle but to be fair the thickness is up to your taste.
-Season with the sugar, paprika and blend it.
-Toast some sourdough bread and rub some garlic on it.
-Serve the tomato soup in a nice bowl, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and enjoy with the garlic-flavoured bread.
Heaven of earth!
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