This week's offering is Pappa al Pomodoro prepared by Chef Holly Smith, owner of Cafe Juanita.
Wondering what to do with a garden full of tomatoes? The riper the better for this classic tomato and bread soup a popular seasonal menu item at this Iron Chef's Kirkland restaurant.
Recipe: Pappa al Pomodoro
* These numbers are approximate. Taste and add as necessary to balance flavors
2T finely chopped garlic
1-2t cayenne (to taste)
Kosher salt to taste ( start with 2T)
Fruity Extra Virgin Olive oil – (begin with 1 cup to cook garlic)
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
4T sherry vinegar - begin with 2 - acidity of tomatoes and balsamic will affect total amount
Bread - 2-3 slices torn into pieces ( Ciabatta works well - use crust as well as center)
Core tomatoes. Chop basil and reserve for the end.
In a large stainless bowl, combine tomatoes and bread.
Heat oil in sauté pan and add garlic -- stir to separate well and stir while it cooks. When the garlic begins to turn a little bit golden, pull off the heat and add to tomatoes. Add half salt and cayenne.
Work tomatoes and bread with hands until nicely uniform, literally juicing the tomatoes.
Add balsamic and sherry 1/2 way through mixing.
Remove tomato skins once all mixed -- squeeze out the good stuff.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Add basil after all the tomato skins are out!
Note: This soup holds for 2-3 days
Serve at room temperature. Depending on your preference and how much oil flavor your soup is showing, you can garnish this soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper.