Pappa al Pomodoro is a traditional Tuscan style bread thickened tomato soup. It is a rustic comfort food originally created to help utilize leftover stale bread. So, not only is this soup insanely delicious, its helping reduce food waste which is a win-win in my book.
Traditionally this is made with fresh tomatoes but you could also make this with canned San Marzano tomatoes if you are making this dish in winter when fresh tomatoes are not in season. That being said, this soup only has 7 ingredients so the quality of the ingredients really matters. If you choose to go the canned tomatoes route splurge on the good ones!
This soup holds a special place in my heart because my husband and I learned to make it on our honeymoon in Tuscany. We splurged big time on a one-on-one cooking class at an olive farm where we learned to make fresh pasta, focaccia, biscotti, and the famed Pappa al Pomodoro. Needless to to say its a nostalgic dish so I hope you are transported to Italy when you make it!
Pappa al Pomodoro
Pappa al Pomodoro
- 14-16 roma tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 small loaf of french bread or ciabatta (6ish cups cubed)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- Basil and olive oil to garnish
- Start by boiling a large pot of water and preheating the oven to 425 degrees.
- Score an X at the base of each tomato. Place all the tomatoes in the boiling water and let cook for 10-30 seconds or until the skins start to split. Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and place directly into an ice bath. Peal the tomatoes in the ice bath, the skins should slide right off.
- Once the oven is preheated tear or chop the bread into one inch pieces (you should end up with about 6 cups). Spread between two cookie sheets and bake for 8 minutes or until crispy.
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp olive oil and the chopped onion. Let cook 10 minutes or until onions become translucent.
- While the onions are cooking chop all the tomatoes and place into a bowl. Squeeze the chopped tomatoes with your hands to break them up and release the juices. Don’t be afraid to get a bit messy here.
- Add the garlic and salt. Stir well to combine and let cook 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and stir well. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices let cook stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add all the toasted bread pieces and stir well until well coated with the tomato mixture.
- The final step is to gradually add the broth. Add 1/2 cup at a time and stir, once the broth is absorbed add more broth and stir. Repeat this process until all of the broth has been added and absorbed and the bread has fully broken down and has started to melt together with the tomatoes, this should take about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with torn basil, fresh parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to serve.
Looking for another comfort food dish? Check out this chilly weather chilly!