Whenever I ask my oldest son what he wants to eat, he will pick this soup. It has been an all-time favorite of his for years. It’s fast, it’s easy and the Italian name for this dish is Pappa al Pomodoro, which means tomato baby food. The amount of water and/or broth you use is a personal taste and also a function of the type of tomatoes you use. My kids want this soup rather thick, so I tend to put in less rather than more liquid. In Italy no one would ever use the peels and seeds for this soup; I agree on the peels, but sometimes I don’t have the time on removing the seeds so I just end up mixing it a little longer…
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 lb fresh tomatoes (peeled, deseeded and chopped) or a 28 oz can good-quality plum tomatoes
1-3 cups water or broth (see note above)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (leaves minced) or 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pot, add the onions and cook until they are translucent (6-8 minutes) making sure that they don’t burn.
Add the tomatoes, the liquid and the rosemary and gently simmer for 20-30 minutes. This soup should not boil as it will turn the tomatoes sour, so a gentle simmer does the trick.
Carefully puree the soup with a hand-held mixer or a blender.
Some people like to add some cream or butter, but we keep it simple and serve each bowl with a generous helping of parmesan cheese and 1/2 tablespoon (or thereabouts) of good-quality olive oil.