Pappa al Pomodoro – Homemade Tomato Soup

Rustic Pappa al Pomodoro - Italian Homemade Tomato Soup RecipeHappy Friday! Let’s celebrate the weekend with a thick cozy bowl of classic Pappa al Pomodoro, a rustic homemade tomato soup. 

Pappa al Pomodoro - Italian Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe
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Classic Italian Pappa al Pomodoro is another dish we experienced on our trip to Italy this summer, and felt we must replicate at home.

I remember the first time I caught sight of this homemade tomato soup variation. We were sitting in a small italian trattoria with way too many framed photos on the walls, red and white checkered table clothes, and Chianti bottle candle holders on each table… It was perfect.

Chunky Pappa al Pomodoro - Italian Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe


An elderly Italian couple sat across from us, smiling at our kids who were trying to make heads or tails of the menu. A moment later their meal arrived, a whole fried fish, grilled vegetables, and two bowls of some sort of porridge that looked like meat sauce.

What is in those bowls?” I whispered to Dan.

We studied the menu for a few moments, then decided it must be the Pappa al Pomodoro.


Making Pappa al Pomodoro - Italian Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe

When our meal arrived, we had a lavish array of vegetable souffles, roasted rabbit, pastas, and of course the Pappa al Pomodoro homemade tomato soup that looked so appealing.

Although we thoroughly enjoyed the entire meal, the most humble of dishes had the greatest impact.

How to Make Pappa al Pomodoro - Italian Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe

Pappa al Pomodoro is a peasant dish, designed to fill empty tummies and comfort the soul.

It is thick and chunky, with a silky base, created by simmering day-old bread into the soup until it dissolves.

How To: Pappa al Pomodoro - Italian Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe

Don’t get me wrong… I love classic American homemade tomato soup, and I love tomato bisque.

Yet there is something about this rustic version that captivates and soothes.

Perfect Pappa al Pomodoro - Italian Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe

After tasting Pappa al Pomodoro our first week in Florence, we ordered it every single time we saw it on the menu. What’s more, no one in my family can stop thinking about it.

This vegetarian-based comfort dish has become the hottest request at dinnertime since we’ve been home!

Silky Pappa al Pomodoro - Italian Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe

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25 comments on “Pappa al Pomodoro – Homemade Tomato Soup

  1. Marla Meridithposted September 5, 2014 at 5:58 am Reply

    This soup is calling my name! Even though it’s only 6am, I crave it!

  2. Jenny @ The Peachy Pairposted September 5, 2014 at 6:23 am Reply

    Sounds amazing for fall! Too bad it’s still almost 90 degrees here in Atlanta….

  3. Alice @ Hip Foodie Momposted September 5, 2014 at 7:04 am Reply

    love this soup! do you think I can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?

    • Sommerposted September 5, 2014 at 9:43 am Reply

      Yes! Parboil them first and remove the skins, then you should be good to go!

  4. Cookin Canuckposted September 5, 2014 at 8:36 am Reply

    The description of your feast had me drooling, but I can see why this soup was such a hit. Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best.

  5. Liz @ Floating Kitchenposted September 5, 2014 at 9:05 am Reply

    Yum! This look so good! I love that it is a bit heartier than regular old tomato soup. Can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing, Sommer!

  6. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweetposted September 5, 2014 at 9:43 am Reply

    Loving your Italian dishes recently! This soup looks fantastic!

  7. naomiposted September 5, 2014 at 9:54 am Reply

    Oh, this would be one of my top requests too! Love this!

  8. Rachel @ Baked by Rachelposted September 5, 2014 at 10:49 am Reply

    This looks SO comforting and perfect for the chilly weather that’s heading our way soon!

  9. Aimee @ Simple Bitesposted September 5, 2014 at 11:55 am Reply

    This will totally get me in the mood for the weekend! And with wine? I’m all in.

  10. Elizabethposted September 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm Reply

    Can’t wait to try this…sounds delicioso! In your directions you mention “stewed tomatoes”…are the San Marzano tomatoes stewed tomatoes?

    • Sommerposted September 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm Reply

      Yes. Happy Cooking! :)

  11. Kristin Sposted September 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm Reply

    I want this NOW! I mean, if the temperature was about 30 degrees cooler.

  12. Annposted September 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm Reply

    I just love this type of soup. Great comfort food!

    Rating: 5
  13. Linda W.posted September 6, 2014 at 11:59 am Reply

    Can you replace the Chianti with something else (live in a dry county)?

    • Sommerposted September 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm Reply

      Hi Linda, Does that mean you wouldn’t have “cooking wine” in your grocery stores next to the vinegars? They are not the best option, but would be better than nothing. Otherwise, you just aren’t going to get the same rich flavor without using real wine.

  14. Barbara @ Barbara Bakesposted September 8, 2014 at 7:51 am Reply

    So fun! I love finding a great new recipe when travel.

  15. PassTheKnifeposted September 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm Reply

    This soup looks hearty and warm, perfect for the upcoming season!

  16. Carol at Wild Goose Teaposted September 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm Reply

    I am not much of a plain tomato soup eater. But the spices in these move this tomato soup out of that boring category. This one I would eat. with gusto.

  17. Loriposted September 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm Reply

    Am wondering if I make a double batch with all my fresh Roma tomatoes, would it freeze well? I’m thinking I would leave out the bread, then add it at the time of re-heating?

    • Sommerposted September 13, 2014 at 7:11 pm Reply

      Hi Lori,

      I think it probably would, and I also think you could go ahead and add in the bread, since it needs a little time to simmer down. Let me know how it turns out!

  18. Loriposted September 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm Reply

    I made a double batch of this today with roma tomatoes from my garden. I was short on fresh basil and fresh garlic, so I used what I had then supplemented with frozen cubes of garlic and basil from Trader Joe’s. I always keep a supply of these in my freezer. When it was done, the bread cubes were still a little chunky, so I ran my immersion blender through it till it had the consistency I wanted. Perfect, delicious, and headed for the freezer as soon as it cools!

    Rating: 5
  19. Betty Lynneposted October 30, 2014 at 6:13 am Reply

    This is my new fav tomato soup! Oh. My. It was incredible and, like Lori above, I ran my immersion blender through it at the last minute to make it smoother and it was just perfect. Next time, I will be making a double batch too!

    Rating: 5
  20. Mike Benayounposted July 26, 2015 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I would totally put parmesan cheese on pappa al pomodoro but an Italian friend told me it was a no no for this Tuscan staple. Can anyone confirm? I am all about authenticity, which is the reason why I am asking. No no, I am not the soup Nazi… or am I? ;-)

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