La Pappa col Pomodoro (Tuscan bread and tomato soup)

The recipe of Lella from 'la scuola di cucina di Lella Cesari Ciampoli, inc'


  • Tuscan bread (stale) - 200g
  • Ripe tomatoes, chopped - 600g OR
  • Ready pulp tomatoes - 2 tins
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 Tbsp per person
  • Stock as needed
  • Basil
  • Chilli pepper - 1 per person
  • Garlic clove - 1 per person
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Pappa col pomodoro was once part of the Tuscan recipes for the poor. It fed entire families for generations. It was prepared with left overs. In the countryside and in the poorer houses, the bread was made once a week. The bread that was left was not thrown away, once hardened it was used to make the pappa. The broth gave nourishment to this soup and the earthenware dish allowed it to cook slowly for a long time. The terracotta allows to continue cooking another 15-20 minutes without any heat underneath. This was a furthur form of saving. Today this soup is among the best known, every family has its own recipe which has been handed down over the years.


  1. Bread choice - If you don't have tuscan bread available, you can use any other bread which has no fat - only flour, yeast, water, salt. Ciabatta and sourdough are good candidates.
  2. If you have only fresh bread, slice it and leave it for 2-3 days before using it.
  1. Prepare a pot of broth and keep it hot.
  2. In the earthenware dish, put the oil, chilli pepper and the whole cloves of garlic. Always put the chilli pepper and garlic in cold oil.
  3. Heat the oil up, on low, making sure the garlic stays white until the end.
  4. Add a lot of basil and stir (you are flavoring the oil). After adding the basil, keep moving the garlic.
  5. Now add the bread, little by little, constantly stirring. The breach should be sliced very thinly. Mix it with a wooden spoon until the bread has absorbed all of the oil.
  6. Add the tomatoes, then cover with the hot broth, season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add more fresh basil.
  8. Cook for about an hour, in low heat, adding broth as needed, a little at a time.
  9. When cooked, take out the larger pieces - garlic, basil, timatoes and put them through a food mill. Then add it back to the soup.
  10. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


[[Italian recipes]] [[Soups]] [[Try]]

La Pappa col Pomodoro (Tuscan bread and tomato soup)