By: Chloë Sibley Writer & Journalist | Specialist Food & Arts

Tuscany is a region renowned for its soups and Pappa al Pomodoro reigns supreme with its rich tomatoes and rustic bread. Its name translates to tomato mush, a humble title for a worthy starter or first course. Join chef Francesco Marrucelli in the kitchen with his tantalising recipe for Pappa al Pomodoro, perfect as a dinner party dish or for simple home comforts. 

Tomato and basil is a classic combination born out of Italian tradition, making up the groundwork for this soup. This Pappa al Pomodoro is thick and ideal for dipping crispy bread, and as long as the bread you use doesn't contain eggs, this dish is entirely plant-based. This soup can be made lighter with additional vegetable stock or left thick, making it a malleable dish to suit your preferences. Serve this warming comforter with fragrant basil leaves scattered on top.

Pappa al Pomodoro  

Serves 4 - Cook in 45 minutes


- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

- 2 leeks, sliced

- 1kg ripe tomatoes, skinned and diced
- 500g of stale rustic bread, torn or cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cups vegetable stock, extra if you want a thinner consistency
- Basil leaves to garnish
- Salt and pepper


Step 1

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic begins to brown (keep an eye on the garlic and make sure it doesn’t burn). Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until soft. Add the diced tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.

Step 2

Cook for 15 minutes and once tomatoes are reduced, stir the torn or cut bread into the mix. Add the stock and stir, bringing to a simmer. Continue to cook and stir until the bead breaks down and soup thickens into a porridge-like consistency. Add more stock if you want a thinner consistency.

Step 3

Serve warm with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and top with a basil leaf or two.  Buon Appetito!

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