Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cielo Chiaro Special: Zuppa di Pomodoro e’ Fagioli

We had some wonderful tomatoes waiting for us when we moved in to Cielo Chiaro, courtesy of Andrew and Marianne (our landlords/Italian caretakers/pretend English Aunt and Uncle). Nat’s been snacking on them, and sandwiching with them a bit, but we still had a number of plump red toms last night at a point in their existence that begged for them to be eaten. Our original idea was a chili-ish number, to ward off the rainy night, but the end result (we didn’t have any chili powder, see, or cumin) ended up being different, but better than we imagined--a rich, tomato and bean soup with paprika’s jump providing the umph and a little Swiss grated on top to tie it all together. Nat was the real genius behind it, as my main contribution was the idea to serve it over a thick slice of bread from the Dolce Forno bakery in Mercatale (which is up the road from us a couple KMs):
Zuppa di Pomodoro e’ Fagioli

Ingredients:1 Tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large tomatoes (the big round ones)
2 cups veggie stock
2-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried garlic (could use fresh, but we had this in the cabinet)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 can red beans (at least that’s American equivalent), drained
2 to 4 medium thick slices of bread (can serve up to 4)
Grated Swiss cheese

1. Add the butter to a stockpot over medium-high heat. When it’s just past bubbling, add the onions. Saute them, stirring regularly, until their golden brown.

2. Add the tomatoes to the pot, stir, and add the stock. Reduce the heat to a medium-low-ish, and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the spices, stir, and let simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally again (there are lots of occasions here).

4. Add the beans to the pot, stir, and let simmer for five minutes or until the beans are heated through. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add a slice of bread each to a bowl for however many people you’re serving (it should serve up to four). Ladle a large helping of soup over each slice and into each bowl. Top each with grated Swiss cheese.

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