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Florence, Italy: Pappa al Pomodoro- Tuscan Recipe for Tomato & Bread Soup

Updated on July 17, 2016

Never Toss Out Old Bread or Overripe Tomatoes!

Intrigue, passion, and betrayal in Renaissance Florence

Fresh Basil is a MUST

Easy & Delicious

I Try to Recycle Food.

I recycle many leftovers into new meals. This is a common practice in Mediterranean countries, especially among the poorer regions. Since Tuscany was one of the poorest regions in all of Italy, it's no surprise that Tuscan recipes follow a "waste not, want not" philosophy.

Today I made pappa al pomodoro with some old bread, overripe tomatoes, and some scallions that were just starting to lose their freshness (although scallions are not part of the original recipe, this is MY version).

This traditional soup is not only filling, it's tasty and easy to make.


old bread (quantity equal to a French baguette or half a Tuscan loaf)

2-3 big, overripe tomatoes- chopped (make sure chunks are not too big)

1 small onion- finely chopped (I used a scallion because I needed to use it)

2-3 stems of basil (be sure there are plenty of leaves on the stems)

3 cloves garlic- minced

1 t. sugar

2 t Salamoia (Tuscan herbs) OR a vegetable bullion cube is fine

pepper to taste

olive oil

1 cup water

1. Crumble bread and add water to moisten until you get the consistency of stuffing.

2. Meanwhile sauté onions and garlic in oil until tender. Add tomatoes, seasonings and water. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

3. Add the basil, stems and all because they flavor the broth. Simmer for another 30 minutes, adding water if necessary. You don't want too much broth, but you don't want it to be very thick, either (like salsa).

4. Add the moistened bread and stir to blend evenly. The pappa should have the consistency of very soft, moist stuffing that cannot be piled up.

5. Spoon into bowl and drizzle generously with olive oil. Grated cheese may also be added if you'd like.

Buon apetito! Thank you for reading and let me know how it turns out.

C. De Melo
Author & Artist


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    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 6 years ago

      I enjoy learning about authentic food from all countries, especialy from Italy. Good hub.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow.. this looks fabulous.. REAL italian food... MMM. I love it. That looks like something my family will love!