This Fiore Fine Foods Soup Recipe Is a Delicious Way to Use Up Stale Bread

Pappa al pomodoro brings the flavors of Tuscany using a can of tomatoes and leftover bread.

Photo by Maddy Sweitzer-Lammé

We don’t often write about home cooking, but with restaurants reduced to takeout-only options, we want to continue to commune with our readers over food, which means celebrating the cooking that continues to happen in Philadelphia, both in restaurants and in homes. We’re working to keep you connected to your favorite chefs and restaurants, without needing to leave your own kitchen. So, until we can finally return to all those places that brought us joy, we’ll be publishing ways to bring that very same joy into your homes. This recipe is part of the Foobooz Guide to Home Cooking.

We love Fiore Fine Foods for their casual, excellent Italian food. Until we can return to their dining room, we’re checking out their takeout menu of gelato and watching for their next delivery drop of homemade soups, which include pappa al pomodoro. Should you want to attempt that same soup at home, it’s actually super simple — and a great way to use up any extra bit of bread you might have laying around. Here’s what Fiore co-owner and head chef Ed Crochet had to say about it:

“Pappa al pomodoro is a classic Tuscan dish, made with leftover bread and canned tomatoes. Perfect quarantine cooking! Finished products vary depending upon personal preference, regional tradition, but, most importantly, what is available. Some add rosemary or thyme or basil. Many recipes do not include parmesan. The soup is often served so that it resembles a wet panzanella more than a stew. You can make it whatever you want it to be. Either way, it is incredibly delicious in a surprising way.”

Pappa al Pomodoro

serves 4-6

1⁄4 loaf stale bread, about 8 ounces
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1⁄2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 28 oz. canned roma tomatoes
1 tsp. salt, plus more as needed
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Parmesan cheese, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Rip the bread into large chunks and spread on a sheet tray. Place in oven and bake until bread is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Using your hand, squish canned tomatoes into small pieces, then add to the pan with the vegetables and stir in salt. Reduce to medium-low heat and bring the tomatoes to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add toasted bread and 1 cup water, and stir to combine. Simmer until the bread completely breaks down, about 30 minutes, occasionally adding adding water as necessary. Final product should have a creamy, porridge-like consistency. Finish by drizzling with more olive oil and grated cheese.