A great store-cupboard dish when you’re busy

A dish like Pappa al pomodoro or Tuscan tomato soup is great to add to your recipe repertoire.

  • SERVES: 4
  • PREP TIME: 5 mins
  • COOK ING TIME: 15 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • IDEAL FOR: meat-free, midweek meal

Pappa al pomodoro or Tuscan tomato soup

If you have stale bread lying around.

You have two great options to use it up with…

And both are Italian.

The first is one of my all-time favourites, Panzanella.

And now, my second dish to get rid of stale bread is Pappa al pomodoro.

The fantastic part of this recipe is you get to use your store cupboard.

So, no need to rush out for ingredients, just keep things nice and simple for this dish.

You can also eat it year-round; when it’s summer, serve it at room temp. or chilled.

Or snuggle up with a bowl when the wind and rain are hammering at your windows.

So, enjoy the taste of Italy with its classic flavours of tomato, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil.


  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (30g)
  • 2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 270 g stale ciabatta
  • 15 Kalamata olives, pitted (keep a few for the garnish)
  • ½ stale sourdough bread or large ciabatta
  • good pinch of chilli flakes, optional
  • good pinch of sugar (if tomatoes lack sweetness)
  • 40 g Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a pan, on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add sliced garlic.
  2. Add most of the basil into the pan (keep some for garnishing).
  3. Before the garlic starts to colour, add a pinch of chilli (optional), the olives, and the tomatoes plus 2 tins’ worth of water, season with sea salt and black pepper, and bring to a boil, gently mashing the tomatoes.
  4. Tear in the stale bread, stir, then leave to simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, or until thick.
  5. Finely grate and stir in the Parmesan, then taste and season to perfection.
  6. Dish up, garnish with the remaining basil leaves, and the last few Kalamata olives, some chunks of crusty bread (optional) and drizzle each bowlful with 1 tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil.
Pappa al Pomodoro or Tuscan soup – a great store-cupboard recipe

Inspired by: Jamie Oliver