Monday, 17 February 2014

Bread soup - Pancotto

This is a very simple, yet tasty old recipe and goes back to a time in which stale bread was far too precious to be thrown away or used to feed the animals.

This soup is very good, and reminds me reminds me of cold days in which I was ill in bed and my grandmother came from the countryside to take care of me while my parents were at work.
I would like to thank a new friend, Anna, for reminding me of the old days, and for giving me her personal version.
In the South of Italy this soup is made with tomatoes and other vegetables, but I want to stick to my traditions this time. As soon as I find a good recipe for "pappa al pomodoro" (typical Tuscany soup) I will give you the recipe.

Ingredients:(serves 4)

about 300 grs/ 11 ounces of rustic, country stale bread
1 onion
4 spoons extra virgin olive oil +  some to season
20 gr butter
1 bay leaf
1,0 /2 pints vegetable stock
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Olive oil

Too little stock

1)       Cut the bread into thick slices and put them a bowl, cover with the stock and let it soak for ½ an hour.

2)       Finely chop the onion, warm the oil and the butter in a pan, add the bay leaves and the onion and let it cook over the low heat until the onion becomes transparent and soft.

3)          Squeeze the bread (keep the stock !)and put it (the bread)in the pan and let it cook over the medium heat for a couple of minutes mixing now and then. In this phase the bread will absorbe the taste and smell of the vegetable

4)       Add the stock until it covers all the bread, bring it to the boil and mix very fast to dissolve the bread and cook until the soup is thick. Season with salt and a pinch of pepper (which was not allowed when I was a young girl)

5)       Serve in a bowl with an abundant sprinkle of grated Parmigiano Reggiano  and a drizzle of olive oil  - I said a drizzle but my husband put in more. Deliciously simple anyway!


Do not use sandwich bread of the loaf, this bread is too refined and the soup will become sticky.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your recipe. My family came from Le Marche and immigrated to Australia. I remember my mother cooking this soup when I was a little girl. Sadly she passed away many years ago but now I can bring back her memory when I try this recipe! Thank you