Tomato Bread Soup is a delicious soup, but it’s also a very practical way of recycling old bread. I bake a lot of bread, and I enjoy sharing it with other people and sometimes the birds. I also like to make French Toast with sliced bread that has been frozen. However, I’ve been looking for some other productive and useful ways to use old bread. I was delighted when I learned about this soup. It tastes delicious and it’s so easy to make!
Tomato Bread Soup: Pappa al Pomodoro Recipe
Makes: 4 servings
Recipe courtesy Mario Batali Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/tomato-bread-soup-pappa-al-pomodoro-recipe/index.html
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
- 3/4 pound day-old Italian peasant bread, roughly sliced
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup fresh torn basil leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Peasant Bread cut into cubes. For authentic Tomato Bread Soup, you just tear the bread, but I had already sliced the bread into cubes so that’s what I used.
Some recipes suggest using Pomi tomatoes. I grew Roma, Viva Italia and San Marzano tomatoes in my garden this year so that’s what I used.
- In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, until onion is translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. I didn’t seed or chop the tomatoes, I just peeled them and used the back of a wooden spoon to break them apart.
- Reduce to a simmer and let cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down, about 5 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon, add the stale bread chunks and water.
- Continue simmering until all the bread has absorbed as much liquid as possible, yielding a baby food-like consistency. Stir in the basil.
- Season, to taste, with pepper. Let the soup continue simmering for 10 more minutes.
- Serve immediately in warmed soup bowls. Garnish, to taste, with Parmigiano-Reggiano. I actually forgot to add the cheese, but it didn’t need it. It tasted great!
I was really excited about this soup, but when I saw the final consistency, I wasn’t so sure. It looked like mush. However, you know what they say about not judging a book by its cover… the same goes for this soup. Don’t judge it by it’s look/consistency because the flavor is wonderful. It was very satisfying to make something so delicious from recycled bread as well as tomatoes grown in my garden. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Happy Baking and Eating!