Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Pappa Al Pomodoro – Bread & Tomato Soup from Tuscany

Pappa al pomodoro is a specialty from Siena, in Tuscany, and a great idea to use up some old bread that is too hard to be eaten by itself.

Made with simple, cheap ingredients, this soup can be served both warm for a cozy winter day and at room temperature, for a breezy summertime evening.


Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

  • Tomato sauce or Peeled whole plum tomatoes: 800 g
  • Old bread: 300/350 g
  • Vegetable broth: 1.5 l
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 30 ml
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Basil, fresh: a bunch
  • Salt and pepper: to taste

Method

Set aside some basil leaves to garnish the finished dish and roughly chop the rest.

Peel the garlic cloves. Cut the bread into thin slices and rub them with the garlic cloves on both sides. Warm up the oil in a pot and fry up the slices of bread until they’re slightly golden; make sure not to burn them.

Tip: Tuscan bread is traditionally unsalted. As this recipe is originally from Tuscany, it would be best to use unsalted bread: the final result would be closer to the traditional dish.

Pour the tomato sauce and the vegetable broth over the bread, season to taste and leave it to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir occasionally and make sure to break down the slices of bread into a mush. Add the basil just before turning off the heat.

Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and some basil leaves.

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