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Pappa Al Pomodoro: A New Life for Old Bread | Conscious Cookery Day 6

This is a soup to be enjoyed hot, room temperature, or even chilled, like gazpacho. Both soups offer big flavor, creamy texture, thanks to the bread and no waste. Adding greens may be a small break with tradition but I recommend it for extra goodness.


  • 1/2 bunch kale or other greens tough center stems removed,
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus a little more to finish
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 28- ounce can chopped tomatoes or 1-1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups stale bread cubes made from 4 or 5 slices of bread *
  • 2 to 3 cups water or vegetable broth
  • sea salt
  • fresh pepper
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves. sliced into skinny ribbons the official culinary term is chiffonade
  • olive oil for finishing


  • Heat a large pot of salted water. Immerse greens and give them a quick blanche to keep color bright and nutrients intact. Rinse and drain. When cool, chop the greens well, and set aside.
  • Wipe out the pot and heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions, chopped garlic, and red pepper flakes. The oil should be hot enough so the vegetables sizzle. Cook for five minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and turn golden and fragrant.
  • Add chopped greens and bread and give the mixture a stir, so the bread starts to soften, and the oil gilds everything.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Gently pour in tomatoes, taking care to avoid splatters. Now add 2 cups water or vegetable broth. Stir to combine, then cover the pot and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • When you come back, stir again. If soup seems too thick for you, add the remaining water or broth. Season generously with sea salt and pepper and add the basil chiffonade.
  • Serve with a finishing drizzle of olive oil


*Traditionally made from a day-old loaf of Italian bread, I use old whole grain bread, because i’m a whole grains kind of girl and I use what I have. Remove crusts if you’re fussy, but the bread will collapse into the soup with or without them.