Pappa pomodoro (Tuscan bread soup)

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This hearty soup recipe by Luke Holder is based on a traditional Tuscan recipe, whereby tomato based soup is thickened with bread. Using stale bread and a tin of chopped tomatoes, this delicious Italian soup makes a cheap and simple lunch or supper that can be whipped up in under an hour.

First published in 2015
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To serve


Place the onions in a large pan with a little oil and gently sweat, without colouring. Add the dried chilli flakes to the onion and cook for 20 minutes
Add the chicken stock and tomatoes to the pan, mix well and cook for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the soup doesn't catch
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil until warm in a separate pan. Add the garlic and basil to the pan and infuse in the oil for 2 minutes
Add the infused oil into the tomato base and stir, then add the bread which will instantly cause the soup to thicken. Cook for 12–15 minutes, breaking down the bread into the soup by stirring with a whisk - the texture should still be quite chunky
  • 150g of stale bread, crusts removed and torn into chunks
Season with salt and pepper and adjust the heat with a little extra cayenne pepper or chilli to your taste. Drizzle in a little extra virgin olive oil and serve
First published in 2015

Luke Holder comes by his taste for ultra-authentic local cuisine honestly: he's spent large chunks of his career soaking up regional techniques in far-flung parts of the world.

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