Pappa al pomodoro


500g ripe cherry tomatoes

500g stale bread

3 cloves of garlic

1 big bunch of fresh basil

Extra virgin olive oil

2 400g tins plum tomatoes

Sea salt

Black pepper


1. Before you begin, preheat your oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.

2. Prick the cherry tomatoes and place them in a roasting dish. Chop your cloves of garlic by squashing each one with the flat side of the knife, pressing down on it with your hand until you feel it crack. Peel the skin from the garlic with your hands before chopping it horizontally and then vertically until it is in very small pieces. Finely chop your basil stalks. Scatter 1/3 of the garlic and ¼ of the basil stalks over the tomatoes before drizzling with extra virgin olive oil. Cover with sea salt and black pepper before placing in the oven for 20 minutes.

3. While the tomatoes are roasting, heat some olive oil in a pan before adding the remaining garlic and basil stalks and frying for one minute, until everything softens.

4. Pour in the tinned plum tomatoes, using a spoon to break them up as they are cooking. Fill one of the 400g tins with water and add to the pan too. Bring to the boil and the leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Tear up the stale bread and add to the pan. Tear up the basil leaves (saving a few for garnishing) and add to the pan. Leave the soup to cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.

6. The roasted tomatoes will be ready now, so add them to the soup. The soup is intended to be thick, but you can adjust the consistency to your preference by adding water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Remove from the heat, add six tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and divide between your bowls. If you have any basil leaves left, garnish the soup before serving.