Pappa Al Pomodoro / Classic Italian Tomato Soup

READY IN: 1hr 45mins




  • Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender.
  • Add the ciabatta cubes and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Place the tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the chicken stock, red wine, basil, 1 T salt, and 1 1/2 t pepper.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes.
  • MEANWHILE: Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, put the reserved ciabatta bread cubes, pancetta and whole basil leaves in the bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat.
  • On a lined sheet pan large enough for all ingredients, place the ingredients in a single layer, Be sure the basil leaves are flat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake until the cubes are toasted, pancetta crispy and basil leaves turn dark & crisp. This may take 15-20 minutes.
  • Check on your soup. If the soup is too lumpy for you you can smash with a wooden spoon, potato masher or use a submersion blender to break up the bread cubes. Alternately you can puree in batches in a food processor or blender. Blend to desired consistency. I prefer a more rustic presentation.
  • *Take care to only fill the blender or food processor 1/3 when you puree HOT soup.
  • Turn up the heat to rewarm if necessary. At this point check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Stir in parmesan cheese, top with basil leaf, pancetta and bread cubes.
  • Freezes well.