Pappa Al Pomodoro

Sophie Grigson tempts the taste buds with this fabulous take on a traditional Tuscan soup. Stale bread never tasted so good!
By Sophie Grigson
Pappa Al Pomodoro
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 350 g stale bread, with cruststhickly sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
  • black pepper
  • 1.5 litres light chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 small bunch of leaves basil

To serve:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly grated parmesan, (optional)


1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/gas 2. Spread the bread out on a baking tray and dry in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Break into pieces.

2. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large saucepan and cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic and raise the heat slightly. As soon as the garlic begins to brown add the tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Simmer for 10 minutes, allow the mixture to cool slightly, and then pass through the fine plate of mouli-legumes or liquidise and sieve.

4. In a separate pan, bring the stock up to the boil and add the pureed tomato mixture, bread, remaining olive oil and torn basil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the soup is very thick. Taste again and adjust seasonings.

6. Serve hot or cold, with a drizzle of olive oil and, if you wish, a scattering of Parmesan.

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