Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Bread and Tomato Soup

For a tomato soup to succeed it needs something to ease the palate, because a soup made of tomatoes all on their own would be too acidic to enjoy. Often the solution is to adding milk or cream to mitigate the harshness and soften the tomato flavor. But the thrifty Tuscans had their own solution, which also made use of stale bread: Pappa al Pomodoro. The bread, which is stirred into the soup only toward the end, becomes soft and custardy amid the bright tomatoes and balances the soup. The rest of the flavors are classic Tuscan. Basil? Check. Garlic? Check.

Perhaps my only complaint was that the soup is ideal for people with no teeth, and that it gets a little boring to eat. But that didn't stop me from happily slurping two bowls of the stuff: It's a meal you can eat yourself silly on and still feel light and healthy afterward. Though there are many recipes online, I was drawn to this one from, which makes use of a combination of canned plum and roasted fresh cherry tomatoes.

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