Pappa al Pomodoro (Bread & Tomato Soup)

Everything is better with fresh tomatoes, including this take on the traditional Italian “working man’s” lunch. Serve with a fresh loaf of Ciabatta or fresh greens salad.


3 leeks or 2 onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch basil, chopped, plus few leaves for garnish
1 loaf Breadsmith bread (recommended: Ciabatta), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 to 3 cups chicken broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Sauté leeks in 2 tablespoons oil until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and continue to sauté gently.
In a separate pan, sauté garlic, basil and bread cubes in remaining 2 tablespoons oil until lightly golden, about 2 minutes.
When tomatoes have softened, add bread cube mixture.
Simmer a few minutes more until heated through and softened but not so long that bread completely loses its shape.
If too dry, add more tomatoes or chicken broth until desired consistency.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve drizzled with olive oil and garnished with basil leaves.
Makes 6 servings.

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