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5 from 1 vote

Pappa al Pomodoro (bread and tomato soup)

A slow-cooked, deeply flavoursome tomato soup recipe, straight from the heart of Tuscany.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Soups
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: soup, tomato, Tuscany
Servings: 2 -4
Author: Emily Leary


For the broth:

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 litre water

For the soffritto:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1/2 stick of celery

To complete:

  • 10 basil leaves
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of good quality chopped tomatoes they’re the heart of the dish so don’t skimp
  • 2 slices of medium thickness white bread roughly cubed with the crusts removed (the better the bread, the better the soup)


  • Start by making the simple vegetable broth Slice the carrots and celery thickly and chop the onion into quarters and add to a large pan. Pour in 1 litre boiling water, bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and leave simmering for 30 minutes.
  • In another pan, make the soffritto by warming the olive oil over a medium-low heat. Finely chop the onion, carrot, and celery and sweat in the pan until soft.
  • Add the basil leaves, salt, finely chopped garlic, tomatoes and the stale bread and cook until the bread has absorbed the tomato liquid.
  • Strain the broth (keep the veggies for something else – it’s a shame to waste them) and add the broth liquid to the tomato pan. Keeping the heat low and the pan semi-covered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes, then take off the heat, cover and leave for 30 minutes to rest.
  • Repeat the 30-minute cook, 30-minute rest cycle twice more.
  • Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on the top to complete the glossy, swirled look and silky texture of this delicate, delicious dish that’s well worth the wait.