Pappa al Pomodoro – a rustic authentic Tuscan Tomato Soup made with bread; wholesome, hearty, warming and filling.
Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup
Traditionally made with the last of summer’s San Marzano tomatoes, lots of day old bread, garlic and herbs. No beans allowed here, make a minestrone instead if that’s what you are after.
You start by creating a flavor base of sauteed onions, garlic, spicy red chile pepper in a light drizzle of olive oil. Add a little touch of fresh rosemary but go easy with this herb as it can be very strong and pungent, so make sure to taste as you go.
Tomatoes play a huge roll in Tuscan soups and cuisine, so I’m insisting on San Marzano tomatoes that you can quickly blanch and peel and add to your soup. But, since you probably don’t have any growing in the backyard either, we’ll need to use the canned variety.
Not to worry as this makes your life easier as they are already blanched and peeled and ready to go. Use about 10 of those tomatoes and your soup will be amazing. Do NOT use the sauce they come canned in. A Tuscan soup has a thinner consistency that will be thickened up with the addition of the stale bread or in our case bruschetta.
I like to make my own vegetable stock for this and pretty much just do a nice fridge clean up. Simmer together carrots, onion, garlic a bunch of thyme, a couple of bay leaves, some peppercorns, half a bell pepper, whatever needs using up. Really delicious of course but you can use any store bough veggie stock you like.
The Bread for Tuscan Tomato Soup
While my soup is simmering away and making the shack smell like a small Tuscan town on a chilly day, I start on the bruschetta. You know how we love our bruschetta around here.
So I grill thick slice of Italian bread and rub it with garlic on both sides before lightly brushing it with olive oil. Hit it with some sea salt and wait for your soup to be ready.
When ready to eat just use the best kitchen utensils of all times (your hands), and tear the bruschetta into rustic pieces and add them to the pot of soup. Cover with a lid and let it sit for about 10 minutes for the bread to soak up the broth, thicken it up and the flavors to mingle together.
More Italian Soups
- Roasted Tomato Soup
- San Marzano Tomato Soup
- Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
- Italian Vegetable Soup with Farro
- White Bean Soup
- Zuppa Toscana
- Italian Red Lentil Soup.
Tuscan Tomato Soup Recipe (Pappa al Pomodoro)
- 1 small onion -diced
- 5 cloves garlic -minced
- 1 clove garlic -whole
- 8-10 San Marzano tomatoes (canned variety is fine)
- 1.5 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp Rosemary -chopped
- 1 loaf crusty bread
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more as needed
- 1 pinch Sea salt ( or to taste)
- 1.5 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup Italian parsley -roughly chopped
- In a medium size heavy bottom pot add a good lug of olive oil.
- Add the onions and red pepper flakes and sauté together for about 5 minutes until translucent. At this point stir in the rosemary and garlic and give it a good stir.
- Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add them to the pot. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring your tomato soup to a gentle simmer. Cook on low flame for 25 minutes.
- Adjust seasonings to taste with sea salt and set aside.
- While the soup is simmering, cut the bread in 1 inch slices and grill it on both sides on a cast iron grill pan until nice charred grill marks form.
- Use a large garlic clove and rub both sides of the bread. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Using your hands tear the bruschetta into rustic pieces and add them to the tomato soup. Cover with a lid and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve garnished with the fresh parsley and extra red pepper flakes.
- Bread - Traditionally the soup is made with day old bread but it's so much more delicious with garlic bruschetta.
- If you don't have any bread you could add some pasta or gnocchi instead.
- Add some clams in the last few minutes of cooking to turn this into a Zuppa di Pesce or Cioppino.
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