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Rach takes a summertime Italian staple of tomato and bread soup (pappa al pomodoro) and makes it winter-ready by roasting out-of-season tomatoes. 

For more cozy comfort food, check out Rach's Beef Stew With Dijon Mustard, her one-pot French Onion Pasta and Cheese Fondue


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½- to ¾- pound stale bread, cubed into small croutons
  • Salt and red pepper flakes (spicy) or black pepper (milder)
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for passing at table
  • 1 red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried 
  • 8 to 9 large vine or hothouse tomatoes, cored and halved  
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken brodo, bone broth or vegetable stock
  • 4 to 6 leaves basil, plus more for garnishing
  • One 14-ounce jar tomato puree


Serves: 4


Set oven to 350˚F with rack at center and line 2 rimmed baking trays, 1 medium and 1 large, with parchment paper.   

Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When butter foams, add 2 cloves crushed garlic and add bread, toss with black pepper to coat, add cheese, transfer to medium baking sheet and cook to deeply golden, remove from oven and increase heat to 425˚F.     

Arrange onions and remaining garlic on large baking sheet and toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons EVOO, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes or ground black pepper. Top with cut tomatoes and sprinkle with more EVOO, then roast about 30 to 35 minutes or until soft and skins are loose and browned. Cool to handle, remove skins and transfer to a pot with bread and stock, add basil leaves and puree with stick/immersion blender. Once pureed, for color, add 1 jar of tomato puree or paste and keep warm on low heat. Add a few small leaves of basil, adjust seasoning and serve. Pass extra EVOO, red pepper and cheese at table.