Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today I am going to share with you another yummy 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.
That reminds me that I also had a very creepy doll, Bebi Mia: yes spelt like that, unfortunately.
She had a disk you had to insert inside her back to make her sing the song 'Viva la pappa al pom0doro' from Rita Pavoni ( a famous Italian singer from the 70s) probably because it was a typical food for kids. I absolutely loved feeding her from her little empty plate when I was a kid, now that I looked at her after 20 years she gives me chills...
All this faff to say that tomato soup is a very old recipe that my grandma used to make when I was little, however nowadays it is not a very popular dish among the new generation.
The last time I visited Romania, I tried an amazing tomato soup in a typical restaurant in Bucarest that really tasted very close to the one my grandmother used to prepare, even if the texture was a bit different: the one I tried in Romania was watery like a broth.
Once back in London I decided to make my own version, mixing the Romanian recipe with the Italian one. Being the first time I think a did a decent job, even if I say so myself.
I was lucky enough to still have in the kitchen cupboard some homemade 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 making this dish a lot better since it is pretty difficult to find a good quality tomato pelati in London. I
f you don't have homemade ones, I usually buy the Cirio ones.
Stay away from Napolina brand though...they are horribly acidic.
-2 paprika red peppers
-Half red onion
-1 jar of tomato pelati
-Half a bottle of tomato passata
-1 cube of vegetable stock
-1 big slice of celeriac
-2 stalks of celery
-2 medium carrots
-a couple of sticks of fresh thyme
-Half a teaspoon of salt
-2 tbsp of olive oil
-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 food processor.
-Put the kettle on with 1.5l of water to boil.
-Pour 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a pot and toss the chopped vegetables inside. Season them with salt and pepper and add the thyme. Fry them on high heat for 5-6 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon now and then, which is called "soffritto" in Italian.
SOFFRITTO ~ THE HOLY TRINITY OF ITALIAN CUISINE
"A holy trinity in cooking is simply a combination of three aromatic ingredients, whether they are vegetables, herbs or spices, that are gently sauteed together to provide a flavour base for other ingredients to build upon. (...)
Soffritto is the Italian word for “under-fried” or “fried slowly” and perfectly describes the process of gently cooking the vegetables in oil to soften them and release their flavour." from Italian food forever
-When the water is boiling, add half of it to the pot with the veggies and then add the vegetable stock. Stir well to melt it properly.
-Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
-Add the tomato passata + the pelati and cook for another 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. I prefer it watery because the thick version is too similar to the sauce that I would use on pasta.
-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 it with cheddar cheese and enjoy with the garlic-flavoured bread.
Heaven of the earth!
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