Pappa al Pomodoro (Italian Soup)
Classic Pappa al Pomodoro, a rustic Tuscan homemade tomato soup is made by simmering tomatoes, carrots, onions, olive oil, basil and bread until everything merges into a thick and comforting consistency! This Pappa al Pomodoro is a soul-warming comfort food that showcases the rich flavors of the Mediterranean region.
Why We Love This Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup Recipe
Classic Italian Pappa al Pomodoro is a dish we experienced on our trip to Italy, and I knew that I had to replicate at home! It is absolutely full of flavor and so satisfying to eat.
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. Canned tomatoes are simmered with fresh ingredients like carrots, garlic, basil, and rustic Italian bread until all of the ingredients mold together into a rustic homemade tomato soup!
Don’t get me wrong… I love classic American homemade tomato soup, and I love tomato bisque. Yet there is something about this rustic “bread soup” version that captivates and soothes.
Ingredients For Italian Soup
This Tuscan bread tomato soup uses minimal ingredients for a fresh and satisfying soup. Since there aren’t that many ingredients here, it is important to use high-quality, fresh ingredients!
- Olive Oil
- Onion – finely chopped
- Carrots – finely chopped
- Fresh Basil – or dried
- San Marzano Tomatoes – whole, peeled tomatoes
- Bay Leaf
- Vegetable Broth – or chicken broth if you are not vegetarian
- Chianti Wine – or other dry, Italian red wine
- Rustic Italian Bread
- Parmesan Cheese
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make Pappa al Pomodoro
Pour olive oil into a large sauce pot and place over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and basil and sauté 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 it into irregular pieces, as you place them into the pot. Add the bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, vegetable broth, wine, and bread.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Check the Italian tomato soup. If the bread cubes haven’t dissolved to create 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. Add more salt and pepper to taste!
To serve, scoop the chunky tomato soup into cups or bowls and finish with a little drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
Serve your homemade al pomodoro soup all on its own, or with some crusty bread! For a heartier meal, try pairing it with some of my favorites:
- Homemade Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Caprese Panzanella Salad
- Antipasto Spinach Salad
- Green Risotto
- Crusty Garlic Bread
Italian Soup Tips & Tricks
- Skip the wine if desired! The wine in this recipe adds a depth of flavor that you won’t get otherwise, but if you prefer not to cook with wine then replace it with extra broth.
- Tuscan rustic tomato soup is meant to be chunky, but if you prefer a smooth tomato soup, use an immersion blender to blend everything together at the end!
- Use fresh tomatoes during the summertime when tomatoes are super flavorful!
- Garnish with extra fresh basil leaves for maximum flavor!
Frequently Asked Questions
Technically, no. As far as canned tomatoes go, San Marzano tomatoes have the best quality and flavor. They are truly Italian tomatoes, so you can have the most authentic pappa al pomodoro as you can.
If you opt to use fresh tomatoes in this tomato soup recipe, it is best to blanch and peel them before using them here. The soup might turn out less watery, so add more broth until you get to your desired consistency!
Store any leftover homemade tomato soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on in a sauce pot until heated through!
Definitely! Let the soup cool and store in freezer-safe bags and stack them on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen. You can then remove the baking sheet and stack the soup bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw slightly before placing it in a saucepan to fully heat through!
Looking for more Italian-inspired recipes? Be sure to also try:
- Creamy Tomato Soup
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Whole Roasted Snapper
- Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Tuscan White Bean Soup
Pappa al Pomodoro (Italian 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.