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Tuscan Pappa al Pomodoro (Italian Bread Soup)

When I was growing up, if my mom was in a pinch to get dinner on the table fast, pappa al pomodoro — or Tuscan bread soup with plenty of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil — was her go-to. We always had stale bread to use up, which gives the soup both extra body and a soft, almost silky texture. It’s a tasty and hearty lunch that also makes a good weeknight meal.

To create a truly Tuscan meal, serve this Pappa al Pomodoro with a Lemony White Bean Salad and Bistecca Fiorentina.
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Tuscan Pappa al Pomodoro (Italian Bread Soup)

Category

Main Course

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

40 minutes

Calories

424

Author:

Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Tuscan Pappa al Pomodoro (Italian Bread Soup)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta (diced)
  • 1 small red onion (peeled)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and halved)
  • 2 garlic cloves (smashed and peeled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 14-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (such as whole Datterino crushed by hand)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (plus up to 1 cup more, if needed)
  • 4 cups 1-inch stale bread cubes (about 2 thick slices)
  • 2 fresh basil sprigs
  • 1 2-inch piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta to the pot, and cook until brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove the pancetta to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pan with the drippings. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the salt, tomatoes, chicken broth, and bread, and stir to combine. Nestle the basil sprigs and cheese rind in the mixture and bring to a simmer.
  2. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle bubble. Stir in the drained pancetta. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring often to help break apart the bread and prevent the Parm rind from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add up to an extra cup of broth, as needed, if the soup gets too thick. Remove and discard the onion, carrot, and cheese rind. Stir in 1 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  3. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and the chopped basil.

Nutrition

Nutrition

per serving
Calories
424
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
Carbs
33 grams
Protein
16 grams
Fat
26 grams
Saturated Fat
8 grams
Cholesterol
27 milligrams
Sodium
1439 milligrams
Fiber
5 grams
Sugar
10 grams
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1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Jeanne Smith
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    A wonderful, fresh, easy soup. My kids requested I add the bread cubes later than the recipe indicates so they wouldn’t “melt” in. Great week-night dinner.

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