Pappa al Pomodoro;


Pappa al Pomodoro

This soup can be found all over Tuscany and is delicious and quite easy to make. It makes good use of your day-old Italian bread and is ready in about an hour. Why not give it a try?

Pappa al Pomodoro – A Tuscan Bread & Tomato Soup

Course: Food, Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time



I keep a ziplock bag of all my Parmesan rinds to use when making many recipes such as this and even pasta sauce! Just remember when using Parmigiano rind, make sure you don’t add too much extra salt as the cheese has plenty in it already!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 ounces pancetta diced

  • 1 small red onion chopped

  • 1 carrot grated

  • 3 cloves garlic diced

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • (2) 14-ounce cans of finely chopped or crushed tomatoes such as Cento

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth plus up to 2 cups more

  • 4 cups stale bread cubes cut into 1-inch cubes. I use an Italian-type loaf of bread.

  • 4 + sprigs of basil

  • A few pieces of Parmesan rind

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan


  • In a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat add the olive oil and pancetta. When the pancetta is well-done, remove it and drain it on paper towels. I make extra as I like to save some separately to sprinkle on the top when serving.
  • In the same pan, add the red onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the salt, canned tomatoes, chicken (or vegetable) broth, and bread cubes; stir to combine. Add the Parmesan rind and a few sprigs of basil.
  • Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle bubble. Continue to cook and after about 5 minutes, add in the pancetta.
  • Cook for 25 minutes, stirring often to break apart the bread and prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan. I really like to break up the bread so it’s not so chunky. If the soup gets too thick, add extra broth as needed. There are times I have added up to 2.5 cups of additional broth as I didn’t measure out the bread. It is supposed to be a thick and hearty soup so don’t expect it to be a thin consistency.
  • Right before serving, add the grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Add also the extra pancetta, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and some chopped fresh basil.
Pappa al Pomodoro recipe. A Tuscan tomato and bread soup.

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