Pappa al pomodoro with lemongrass and chili pepper

Today we explore a new version of the traditional Tuscan dish pappa al pomodoro.

This simple tomato and bread soup is tweaked in two ways by Apicius chef students and faculty: the soup is served chilled and incorporates Thai ingredients such as lemongrass for an even fresher taste.

Serves 4

For the cold soup

2 kg fresh ripe tomatoes
3 red bell peppers
2 stick lemongrass
10 basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 loaf of stale bread, diced and toasted

Pureè the vegetables and herbs together, when mixed together, set aside for 5 minutes in a fridge to cool down. When chilled combine together with the bread in a bowl.

For the cherry tomato chutney

500 gr cherry tomatoes, halved
25 gr brown sugar
50 ml apple vinegar
a pinch of salt

Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and tomatoes in a casserole and cook over low heat for 1 hour until a dense sauce is obtained.

Chili pepper oil

6 mild chili peppers
2 hot chili peppers
500 ml olive oil
7 basil leaves
2 marjoram sprigs
1 clove

Combine mild chili peppers, hot chili peppers, and olive oil in a casserole.

Cook at 60°C on the stovetop. Remove the clove. Puree in a blender until smooth, then transfer the mix in a pan and let simmer on a low flame for 5 minutes until reduced.

To serve

Pour the cold soup in a bowl. Drizzle on top the chili oil and tomato chutney.