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.


  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 ½ medium leeks, white parts only, washed well and finely chopped (1 cup)

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (⅓ cup)

  • 9 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine

  • 2 ¼ pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • ¾ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

  • 3 ¾ cups water, plus more as needed

  • 6 ounces day-old rustic bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (2 ¼ 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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