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Monday, December 16, 2019

Happy Food Review: Trader Joe's Pappa al Pomodoro

Trader Joe's:Papa al Pomodoro
L and I have an agreement that wherever we live, there has to be a Trader Joe's within 20 minutes of us. If you looked in our refrigerator right now, I guarantee 80% of the items inside would be from Trader Joe's, from their yogurt pouches that Waverly loves to their vanilla ice cream which is a house staple for us.

We have a lot of favorite foods from Trader Joe's but recently we tried a new item, Pappa al Pomodoro and we liked it to so much that we cleaned out an entire shelf in the freezer just so we could stock up on it. It is without question, the best soup I have ever had. It's better than any restaurant soup I've had.  Better than my own matzoh ball soup. Better than my grandmother's French pea Soup. Yes, better than my grandmother's.

You know the feeling when school and work has been cancelled because of snow and you have nowhere that you have to be? You're inside with your family, maybe playing a game together. You've all napped around the fire and now you're hungry. This is what you reach for. Trader Joe's Pappa al Pomodoro is a rustic Tuscan tomato soup that feels like a bowl of comfort. While it tastes creamy, rather than dairy, the soup is made with bread which also adds a thick consistency to the chunky soup.  The taste is summery tomato with a perfect balance of basil, salt and onion. It was delicious, especially at just 170 calories per serving.

Preparation was easy.  There are two vacuum packed frozen plastic "pucks" per carton. (If you've had Trader Joe's frozen oatmeal, it's the same style.) Remove the soup from the plastic packaging and cook on low heat in a pan on the stovetop. (You could also microwave the soup.) When I was going through the checkout line the first time I bought this, the crew member ringing me through asked if I bough the focaccia as well. I said "No, I just have the parmesan crisps." She said, "We tasted this the other night and they served this over toasted cubes of Focaccia bread. Hang on, let me get one for you." I bought the Roasted Tomato & Parmesan Focaccia and prepared it as she suggested. I cut the bread into cubes and toasted them for 8 minutes. At that point the soup was done as well. I added a few focaccia cubes to the bowl and ladled the soup on top. I didn't plus it up at all, just the bread and the soup. When I served it for dinner, both L and I were incredulous as to just how amazing this soup was. We agreed that just as the Caprese sandwich was our house sandwich, this was now our house soup.

From beginning to end, it took less than ten minutes to make this dinner.  I can't possibly overstate how good this soup is. When you try this, you're going to feel like a nice Italian Nonna made this just for you with love. I highly recommend keeping several packages of the soup and the focaccia in your freezer for when you need to feel comforted.

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