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Bread and Tomato Soup (Pappa al Pomodoro)


This Tuscan soup is a good way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes and basil, as well as any leftover bread. The bread soaks up the flavorful liquid as it cooks, becoming soft and lending body.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2005


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 medium leeks, white parts only, washed well and finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 9 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 1/4 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 3 3/4 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 6 ounces day-old rustic bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 1/4 cups)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Cook oil, leeks, onion, and garlic in a large stockpot over medium heat, stirring, until vegetables turn golden, about 7 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high. Add wine; cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add tomatoes, half the basil, and the water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook 15 minutes. Add bread; cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; cook 10 minutes more. Add remaining basil; cook 10 minutes. Add more water, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Serve drizzled with oil and sprinkled with cheese.

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