Tomato bread soup (pappa al pomodoro)

Normally when I make this soup, I use store-bought bread since I don’t have the time to make bread after work. However, since Jon requested this for a weekend, I decided to spoil him and make homemade bread to go in the soup.

Because the bread had to rise, I started it several hours before dinner, mixing together water, yeast, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and salt. I really like the mixture of regular whole wheat flour and the whole wheat pastry flour because it makes the bread lighter and airier but still has the healthiness of 100% whole wheat.

Once the bread had risen, I heated up the oven and a baking stone, then shaped the bread. It went into the oven to bake while I started the soup.

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Of course, the soup started off like all of my meals with diced onion and minced garlic sautéed in olive oil. Once the onion was slightly caramelized, I added in diced tomatoes, a little tomato juice, navy beans, some water, and red wine vinegar. This all simmered together until it was super-flavorful. Then, I used my immersion blender to mix everything together, leaving chunks of tomatoes and beans rather than making a completely smooth soup.

After the bread and the soup were both done, I sliced up cubes of the bread and then ladled soup over them. The bread absorbed the soup while the tomatoes and beans added texture, making it a yummy thick soup, perfect for a weekend dinner.

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