pappa al pomodoro (Tuscan bread and tomato sou…

pappa al pomodoro (Tuscan bread and tomato soup)

recipe under the cut!


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 600g (4-5 medium) tomatoes (costoluto fiorentino are traditional but San Marzano or any fresh ripe tomatoes will do), peeled and diced
  • salt to taste (about 1 tbsp)
  • ground black pepper to taste (about 2 tsp)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 cups (1 litre) vegetable stock
  • 400g (about 3 cups) stale Tuscan or other crusty bread, cut into cubes (soak it in a bit of water first if cutting it is too difficult)


1. peel tomatoes by placing them in just-boiled water for a minute or two and then gently removing their skins. dice and set aside.

2. heat olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-high until sizzling. add onion and cook, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes, until translucent. add garlic and cook for another few minutes until golden.

3. lower heat to medium. add tomatoes, spices, and basil and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.

4. add vegetable stock. cover, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

5. remove from heat, add bread and stir. leave covered for about an hour.

6. stir vigorously to dissolve the bread. reheat if desired and serve.

this recipe is a great way to use up stale bread. you can also add vegetables of your choice (eggplant, zucchini, carrots), diced small–add them between steps 4 and 5 and allow to cook completely before adding the bread. eggplant and carrots will require more time to cook than zucchini.