Friday, July 20, 2007

Papa al Pomodoro, Bread and Tomato Soup

Tomato season has arrived. The last two bags from our CSA have held 4-6 pounds of heirlooms. Heirlooms are a big deal for tomato lovers, but can be confusing for those new to the idea. Heirlooms come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, textures and flavors. Some are ugly, bulgy even with cracks in them. Don't judge an heirloom by its cover. Some of the ugly ducklings are the most intesely flavored tomatoes you will ever eat.

By definition, an heirloom must be saved from each season's fruit, "true to type." It must also have been available as a seed variety at least fifty years and each variety must have its own unique history or story. Heirlooms are not often found in the grocery store since they do not generally ship well, and taste best at their peak of ripeness. To find these "beauties," I'd recommend a trip to the Farmers Market between mid-July and early September.

The biggest problem we have during this peak season is the volume of tomatoes we get in our CSA. It's a good problem to have. We just have to work quick to cook and eat all of them before they go bad.

When you have the finest of ingredients, my philosphy is to keep things simple and let the flavor of great ingredients speak the loudest. I find myself making these kinds of simple recipes over and over, and I never get tired of them.

Bread and Tomato Soup
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.


Macrae said...

And here's the soup! I thought of your comment today as I made hummus out of my purple hull peas- yummy!

The Expatriate Chef said...

Hey there! Glad you stopped by. :)

jen said...


katiez said...

Simple food with the best ingredients... What more is there?
You must have a great CSA!

The Expatriate Chef said...

I do, and a great farmers market as well. Thanks!

Almost Vegetarian said...

I made a panzanella the other day and was looking for a new variation when ... what luck! ... tripped across your blog. Problem solved!


Abi said...

Hi there

Just thought you might like to know we featured your blog on Hippyshopper this week, as part of our 'Carnival of the Green' roundup. The post is here:

best wishes

Christopher Vera said...

Of course, tradition requires the bread be unsalted. Tuscans are particularly keen on this point although i don't know why. Perhaps salted bread absorbs too much broth...?