Recipes around the World: Italian Tomato and Bread Soup

Italian tomato and bread soup originated in Italy, but luckily, now you can indulge in this traditional dish without a need to travel to the Apennine Peninsula.   

Recipes around the World: Italian Tomato and Bread Soup

It was a sunny, but very cold day. In truth, though, exploring Florence for the first time ever kept us warm regardless of the temperature outside. It might had been our excitement that helped us focus on the capital of Tuscany, a beautiful region in central Italy. However, when it was lunch time, I didn’t mind warming myself with a bowl of Italian tomato and bread soup.

Pappa al Pomodoro - Roads and

Pappa al Pomodoro

Italian tomato and bread soup or Pappa al Pomodoro, how the Italians call it, is a staple in Tuscan cuisine. It’s made with two main ingredients: tomatoes, fresh or canned, and stale bread. To enhance the taste of their Italian tomato and bread soup, the locals usually add garlic, onion, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Although known for their gourmand skills, the Italians started cooking their tomato and bread soup out of necessity. First, it kept them warm and satiated. Second, this simple dish helped use all the ingredients that were about to deteriorate.

Italian tomato and bread soup - Roads and  Italian tomato and bread soup - Roads and

Italian tomato and bread soup - Roads and

Pappa al Pomodoro - Roads and  Italian tomato and bread soup - Roads and


  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings


  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice or 8-10 peeled and chopped mixed fresh local tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1.5 quarter or 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5-6 slices country bread
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoon fresh Italian basil, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, copped


  1. In a medium-sized pot add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the onion, and red pepper flakes and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and basil. Stir it.
  3. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to simmer, cook on low flame for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. While the soup is cooking, toast the bread on both sides.
  6. Rub both sides of the bread with 1 whole cloves garlic.
  7. Use the remaining two tablespoon olive oil to brush the bread.
  8. Cut the bread into small cubes; add them to the soup. Cover with a lid and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve in bowls garnished with the fresh Italian parsley.


  1. If you use fresh tomatoes for this Italian tomato and bread recipe, cut small X on the bottom of each tomato. Put them into boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the water.
  2. When the tomatoes have cooled, peel back the tomato skin and discard.
  3. Blend or chop the tomatoes, saving the juice.

Check out other recipes from around the world here.

Italian tomato and bread soup - Roads and

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