A Tuscan bread and tomato soup, Pappa al Pomodoro is an easy delicious meal that comes together in minutes from basic pantry items.
A Tuscan bread and tomato soup, Pappa al Pomodoro is an easy delicious meal that comes together in minutes from basic pantry items.

I’m not a big believer in detox diets, but with a particularly festive holiday season behind me, my stomach needs a break from rich food and booze. For some reason, I hosted an unusually large number of holiday dinners this year and while I usually do a pretty good job at planning portions, one thing that’s inevitably left over, is the bread. At one point after a back-to-back spate of dinners, I literally had bags of stale bread sitting in my kitchen.

Loath to waste food, I’ve been making lots of Pappa al Pomodoro. It’s a rustic Tuscan bread porridge that’s ridiculously simple to make and yet it boasts a marvelously comforting array of gentle flavors and textures that’s a welcome salve for my pickled innards.

Like any simple dish, the quality of the ingredients will make or break Pappa al Pomodoro. Specifically, you’ll want to use the best bread, vegetable stock and tomato juice you can get your hands on. For the bread, I recommend a crusty Tuscan-style loaf, but a French country bread (pain de campagne) would work as well. For the vegetable stock, homemade stock is ideal, but frozen veggie stock, or even a natural bouillon without any undesirable additives will work.

Pappa al Pomodoro is a Tuscan bread and tomato soup that comes together in minutes from ingredients you probably have sitting around.

Most importantly your tomatoes should be good. In my case, I juiced some vine ripened tomatoes in late summer and kept the juice vacuum sealed in the freezer for when I needed a kiss of summer sun in the dead of winter. Assuming you didn’t plan quite so far ahead, a good 100% tomato juice should work and if you can’t find one, try getting a can of San Marzano tomatoes (the ones that actually come from San Marzano, Italy, not the brand name) and blending them.

To add a bit more contrast, I’ve also roasted some yellow cherry tomatoes to use as a topping for my Pappa al Pomodoro, but this is entirely optional.

Pappa al PomodoroA Tuscan bread and tomato soup, Pappa al Pomodoro is an easy delicious meal that comes together in minutes from basic pantry items.


  • CourseSoups & Stews
  • CuisineItalian
  • Yield2 portions
  • Cooking Time15 minutes
  • Preperation Time5 minutes
  • Total Time20 minutes


112 grams
cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons
olive oil
70 grams
onion (~1/2 small , minced)
7 grams
garlic (~1 large cloves)
120 grams
bread (~1/4 loaf)
1 cup
vegetable stock
10 grams
basil (roughly chopped)
1 2/3 cups
tomato juice
salt (to taste 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
ground black pepper (to taste)


  1. Roasted cherry tomatoes for pappa al pomodoro (bread and tomato soup)
    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). Toss the cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil and then sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes on a small oven safe dish, or sheet of foil and then roast until the skin is blistered and starting to brown about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Tuscan country-style bread torn into small pieces for making pappa al pomodoro.
    Tear the bread into small pieces.
  3. Onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil for pappa al pomodoro.
    Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium-heat and saute the onions and garlic until they are fragrant and starting to brown.
  4. Stale bread toasted for making pappa al pomodoro.
    Add the bread and toast until the bread has started to brown.
  5. Add the vegetable stock and basil and turn down the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid and then let the bread absorb the liquid.
  6. Pappa al pomodoro recipe, a Tuscan bread and tomato soup.
    When the bread is soft, add the tomato juice and then add salt and pepper to taste. Cook just long enough for the flavors to meld together and for the Pappa al Pomodoro to get creamy.
  7. Garnish the porridge with the roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and a drizzle of good olive oil.