Pappa al Pomodoro (Tuscan Bread Soup)

Welcome to our first episode of the season.
Today, to fulfill the requests of many of you that read the article on People Magazine, we are cooking for you the famous Pappa al Pomodoro!
A brief note about what you will see, as there are two small differences in the way Rosanna and I prepare the Pappa.
She sautes the whole cloves of garlic to flavor the oil, and then she takes them out.
I chop the garlic and I leave it in…I love garlic!She adds the bread to the tomatoes and then she adds the broth,
I add the broth to the tomatoes and when it boils I add the bread.
Either way, as long as you have the right proportion of ingredients you will be fine.

Finding the right kind of bread to make Pappa is harder then actually preparing the dish. Bread should be unflavored, unsalted, not too doughy, with a crust that is actually a crust. Because you need to use stale bread, you have to give yourself some time to dry it. The best way, once you’ve found the
right loaf, is to slice it, and lay the slices on a tray for a couple of days. In front of a sunny window would be just perfect.

Tip: you can save some bread and some broth, in case you need to add one of them to achieve the preferred consistency.
Let’s get cooking!


2 T. extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, halved
2 lbs. peeled, canned tomatoes
4 oz. fresh basil leaves, whole, with extra to garnish
½ tsp. of salt
Black pepper
3 c. of vegetable broth
1 lb. stale bread (see above), sliced thinly
Salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil.

In a large stock pot, warm the olive oil on medium heat and sauté the garlic until just golden.


Add the tomatoes, the basil, the salt and a grind of black pepper. Cook for 15 minutes.


Add the vegetable broth, stir well, and bring to a boil.


Add the bread and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.


Take soup off the heat, and let it sit for about 1 hour, so the bread will absorb as much sauce as possible.


Before serving, give soup a final stir. Serve warm – not hot. (Reheat if necessary.)

Consistency: You should be able to eat the Pappa with your fork. Add some broth if it's too thick and you still need to "work" the bread, or add some bread if the soup is too liquid. Absolutely do not dress it with Parmesan cheese! Garnish your dish with the remaining basil, and some extra virgin olive oil. Now you are officially a Tuscan farmer!

Buon Appetito

Debi and Gabriele