It is scorching in Italy right now. The very thought of cooking something on a hot stove makes me sweat. So I looked at some regional Italian recipes and was delighted to find a recipe for tomato soup from Tuscany called “pappa al pomodoro”. My garden is full of lovely tomatoes at the moment: large beef tomatoes, small cherry variety, long sweet Piccadilly. I came up with a lighter version of “pappa al pomodoro”. It can be eaten cold but, traditionally, it is a hot dish and has bread as one of the ingredients. In my constant endeavour to make naughty Italian recipes lighter I replaced the bread with fruit, added fresh mint and cucumber. The result was truly delicious!
4 large beef tomatoes, chopped in large chunks
4 cherry or Piccadilly tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped in large chunks
1 fresh small chili pepper (you can use jalapeño pepper instead), chopped
4 ripe plums, chopped
½ cup ripe watermelon, seeded and shopped
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup fresh herbs (basil, mint, oregano), finely chopped
Juice of one medium lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Blend the tomatoes, cucumber, plums, chili, watermelon, garlic and herbs in a food processor. Add oil, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix well. Salt to taste. Chill in fridge for at least 8 hours. Serve cold in small bowls with a few leaves of mint and a drizzle of olive oil.