5 Ingredients or Fewer

Pappa di Pomodoro

November 16, 2012
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

For me this soup will always conjure warm memories of four college girls crowded around a table in a chilly apartment in rome. When I studied there with a few of my best friends we saved our pennies for travel, wine, and the occasional pizza from the shop downstairs. On rainy days I would make big kettles of this soup for just a few euros and we would stuff ourselves with it while we imbibed in jugged red wine. Because the main ingredients are used in equal parts, it's really easy to scale this recipe based on the number of people you're serving, or how hungry you are. This one's for my girls, Mary, Andrea and Brooke! xx —lisina

What You'll Need
  • 1 quart good chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 quart crushed san marzano tomatoes
  • 1 quart or so of hard crust italian bread, dried and cut into cubes
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium in the bottom of a soup kettle, and add the garlic. When the garlic starts to color, add the bread and stir, getting the bread to soak up the flavor of the garlic oil.
  2. Add the tomatoes and some salt. Again, let the bread act as a sponge to soak up all the tomatoey goodness. Once the bread has absorbed most of the tomato, add the chicken stock and the basil.
  3. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, and partially cover the pot. The bread will start to break down, and the soup will become more homogenous. Stir occasionally to make sure the tomato isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot and massage the bread with your spoon a bit to help it break down.
  4. After the soup has worked for about an hour or so and has a relatively uniform consistency, taste to check for seasoning, and serve piping hot.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JadeTree
  • lisina
  • Chris

4 Reviews

Chris February 8, 2015
In Italian you say Pappa al pomodoro!
lisina February 9, 2015
my mother is a native speaker, and she says "di". regional differences, i guess! :)
JadeTree December 7, 2012
This is such a friendly recipe - we made it for a weeknight supper and got a big return for such an easy soup! I see why it would be perfect for starving students in exotic climes; it was cheap, nourishing and totally comforting. The final bowl is a silky, almost custard-like supper and the garlic, tomatoes and basil are about as cheerful as it gets. The proportions are easy to scale, as you say, and I used really fat cloves of garlic and four heaping cups of bad, all to the better. The toddler fed herself a bowl and was as happy as the adults. Yum!
lisina December 11, 2012
so glad you enjoyed it jadetree! yes, custard-like is a great way to describe it. i usually find myself making what i think will be way too much, and it's never enough because i just want to keep eating and eating and eating.... so comfy and good :)