Tomato and Bread Soup Cooking Recipe – Pappa Al Pomodoro Recipe

Tomato and Bread Soup Cooking Recipe – Pappa Al Pomodoro Recipe

This soup is a rusticTuscan recipe that transforms stale bread into a flavorsome gourmet dish for all the family.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Soaking time: 4-5 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 14 oz. (400 g) stale bread
  • 1 lb. 8 oz. (700 g) ripe tomatoes or 14 oz. (400 g) canned, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • A few sprigs of basil
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for serving
  • 4-8 cups (1-2 liters) water or meat stock
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Salt, pepper

Tomato and Bread Soup Cooking Recipe - Pappa Al Pomodoro Recipe 1

Cooking Method

  • Soak the stale bread in a bowl of cold water for 4 to 5 hours.
  • If necessary, peel the tomatoes (after immersing in boiling water for a few seconds and then in cold water).
  • Remove the seeds and cut them in quarters.
  • Peel and chop the onion; peel the garlic and cut the cloves into thin rounds. Wash the basil.
  • Squeeze the bread to remove the water. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion; when it begins to soften, add the garlic and bread, and let turn golden brown.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil, and sage, and a minute later enough stock or water to cover.
  • Cook for 30 minutes: the soup should become thick and creamy.
  • Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and pass the Parmesan and a pepper mill around the table.

Suggested food/wine match

  • San Fabiano in Calcinaia, Famalgallo—Chianti Classico DOCG

Chef’s notes

Pancotto is a similar recipe for bread soup, but without the tomato, and with a bay leaf instead of the basil. The soup has a beaten egg and grated pecorino stirred in it to serve.

There is also a recipe for a cold version called panzanella. This is a sort of tab- bouleh, prepared with stale bread dipped in water that is squeezed and then crumbled before having cucumber, tomato, red onions, basil, olive oil, and wine vinegar added to it.
The quality of the bread and the tomatoes obviously determine the flavor of this very simple dish.

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