Happy Friday! Let’s celebrate the weekend with a thick cozy bowl of classic Pappa al Pomodoro, a rustic homemade tomato soup.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
More Italian Recipes
Pesto Pizza – Foodie Crush
Lemon Chicken Fettucine – Diethood
Pappa al Pomodoro - Homemade Tomato Soup
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 cups chopped onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 2 cans San Marzano tomatoes (28-ounce cans)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup Chianti wine
- 5 cups crustless rustic Italian bread, cut into small cubes
- 1 1/4 cups shaved Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Pour the olive oil into a large saucepot and place over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and basil and saute for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Open the cans of stewed tomatoes. Pour the juices into the pot, then squash each tomato by hand, breaking into irregular pieces, as you place them into the pot. Add the bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, vegetable broth, wine, and bread. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Check the pappa al pomodoro. If the bread cubes haven't dissolved creating a thick porridge, use a potato masher to break them up into smaller pieces. Then turn off the heat and stir in 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese.
To serve, scoop the soup into cups or bowls and finish with a little drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.