The 15 year old brother, Daniel, is staying with us for the rest of Christmas vacation. I figured this would be a good opportunity to teach him a few new cooking techniques and just to spend some quality time with him in the kitchen.
He is also quite interested in photography, so he is practicing his technique on some food porn.
We decided to make Ina Garten’s Pappa Al Pomodoro. I’ll be the first to fess up to loving Campbell’s tomato soup. I’m not ashamed–and I have several cans of it in the cupboard. But…Daniel knows how to open a can, grab a soup pan, and add a can of water or milk. As much as I love the Campbell’s tomato soup, I had to put a new recipe in our repertoire.
This recipe is unique from other soup recipes I’ve made before in that you add three or so cups of chopped ciabatta bread right into the soup. Ina says that the bread melts into the soup. Melts? Disintegrates? I think disintegrates is more accurate, although it’s not as appealing, is it?
So, with gas station wine in hand (my hand, not the 15 year old’s), we set out to make Ina’s recipe. It’s halfway done, simmering on the stove. I’m still waiting to see the “melting” ciabatta. The recipe says to cut off the crusts–which I didn’t. So, we’ll see if that affects the meltage.
I also added white wine, instead of red. Veggie stock instead of homemade chicken stock. I also didn’t make the pancetta topping. The reviews from the Food Network website say really good things about the topping, but I wanted to keep the recipe vegetarian, so I didn’t bother.
an onion, olive oil, carrots, fennel, garlic, ciabatta bread, whole, canned tomatoes, stock, wine, basil, s & p, Parmesan cheese.
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and garlic. Cook until tender. Add bread, cubed.
Use your new Ninja blender to liquify the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the pot with the stock, wine, basil, s & p. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes or so.
In process, courtesy of our budding photog: