Tag: Broth

Michele Carbone pappa al pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro (for 6)

This evening, I made the “pappa al pomodoro”, a simple, wonderful Italian soup that my mother used to make.  It’s made with stale bread, tomatoes, basil and vegetable broth. It was great! 

For some reason, in the U.S., I have never seen this delicious meal in any Italian restaurant. Actually, unless I go to Florence, I cannot even find it in Italy because it’s a Tuscan soup.

The soup is very easy to make, and I substitute Pomì tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes that are traditionally used. Kids love this hearty soup, and adults like it even more! It takes 30 minutes to make, and the amounts suggested in this recipe easily feed 6. If you double up the ingredients, in 30 minutes, you feed 12 or more.


  • 300 grams Italian “rustic type” bread (ciabatta, for example) — old bread is fine — cut into thin slices
  • 500 gram peeled Italian tomatoes, a box of Pomì chopped tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes put in a food processor and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 liter broth, either vegetable (traditional recipe) or chicken (my preference)
  • 1/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A bunch of basil, chopped
  • Salt to taste


  1. Fry garlic in oil on low heat until it takes on a golden color. Remove the garlic from the olive oil.
  2. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook on medium/high for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, bring the broth to boil in a separate pen. When you’ve cooked the tomatoes and basil for 15 minutes, add the broth bring fire to high/max.  Add the bread and let it cook 10 more minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust with salt as needed.
  4. Turn off the heat, mix and let it sit for at least 1 hour. Mix again and serve, or if you are eating it many hours later, heat it up on low/medium flame.
  5. Serve the pappa at a warm (not hot) temperature. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to each bowl of soup as you serve it. Do not add parmesan cheese.

Italiano: Pappa al Pomodoro


  • 300 grammi di pane di casa tagliato a fettine sottili
  • 500 grammi pomodori pelati, meglio conserva fatta in casa
  • 2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati
  • 1 litro di brodo- la ricetta originale suggerisce brodo vegetale, io preferisco brodo di pollo, vedete che preferite voi
  • 80 ml di olio buono
  • Un mazzetto di basilico tritato (meglio un pò di più che di meno!)
  • Sale


  1. Friggete aglio in olio toglierlo come prende colore aggiunge i pomodori pelati e basilico e cuocer a fuoco medio alto 15 minuti.
  2. Intanto avete portato il brodo a bollore, aggiungetelo alla salsa di pomodoro, alzate il fuoco al massimo e mettete il pane tagliato a fettine.
  3. Fate cuocere 10 minuti rimestando spesso e spegnete il fuoco. Aggiustate di sale. Fate riposare un’ora.
  4. La pappa si serve tiepida –non bollente!- con un filo d’olio e niente formaggio per carità. Se e` fredda potete riscaldarla, coperta a fuoco medio basso.

Suggested Wine Pairing

A simple Rosso di Montalcino or a Chianti pairs very well with this hearty soup.



Homemade Vegetable Broth

I like to use homemade broths for all of my soup and risotto recipes. My wife, Betti, makes the broth in our household, and she always keeps fresh or frozen broth in the kitchen. Here’s her recipe for a simple vegetable broth.


  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 leafs of kale (optional)
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • Salt
  • A teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 2 liters of water

How to make this recipe

  1. Coarsely chop all of the vegetables except the cherry tomatoes and the parsley.
  2. Fill a pot with 2 to 3 liters of water. Make sure you have a heavy lid for the pot.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables, salt and peppercorns, and the ½ bunch of Italian parsley to the pot.
  4. Bring to a boil.  Allow to boil vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes, then partially cover the pot with its lid and bring to a simmer.
  5. Allow the ingredients to simmer for about 2 – 3 hours, making sure that it stays close to a boil, but doesn’t actually boil anymore
  6. After cooking for 2 – 3 hours, add the cherry tomatoes and bring to a boil once again for a few minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool.  Use a colander or a strainer to separate the vegetables and peppercorns from the broth.

Basic Chicken Broth (Basic, or light version)

My wife Betti makes all of the broths we use in our recipes.  We always have a store of frozen chicken, vegetable, and meat broths available because the flavor of these home-made broths is much richer and more intense than that of packaged broths.  If you have to buy a broth, look for an organic broth in your local market.  But I promise you, once you’ve made your own broth, you won’t go back to the store-bought variety.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 carrots, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 2 leeks, chopped into rounds (wash the leeks carefully to remove the grit)
  • ½ bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • A handful of salt
  • A bunch of fresh thyme – sometimes you can find a combined bunch of thyme and marjoram mixed together at the market, and you can use this bunch

How to Make this Recipe

  1. In a large stockpot (about 4 quarts of water), add cold water and all of the ingredients except the chicken.
  2. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Allow the vegetables to cook for about 40-45 minutes.
  3. Raise the heat to a boil and add the chicken (don’t add the giblets—you can reserve them for something else).
  4. Bring the heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer, so that you see rolling bubbles every minute or two, but the water is not rapidly boiling.
  6. Partially cover, and allow to cook for about 1 hour. You can skim off any foam periodically, so that the resulting broth will be very clear.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pot, placing it into a large bowl or baking dish so that it can cool. Keep the broth on a low simmer until the chicken is cooled enough to pick the meat from the bones. Once it’s cooled, you can shred the meat from the bone and use it for another recipe—my favorite use for the shredded chicken is a variation of the Mediterranean Chicken Salad recipe from the classic cookbook The Silver Palate:  http://www.silverpalate.com/recipe/store-favorites/mediterreanian-chicken-salad
  8. Put the bones back into the broth and cook for another hour, partially covered, and always at a low boil.
  9. Strain the chicken broth once it’s cooled enough for use or storage.

Fish Broth

How to Make Fish Stock

Use only fish from the sea, not from rivers and lakes.  You can use anything you like. For example, you can use 1 pound of sardines and/or fish heads (say salmon, grouper, Mahi Mahi, shirimp, or the “skin” of the shrimp. Always use some, say 10 or so mussels or clams, etc. and their spines. Do not use small fish. Then, you do not have to deal with their small bones that will choke some guests not used to eating fish).

In a pot (really big),  add the fish; it should occupy about 1/3 to ¼ of the pot.  Add 1-2 glasses white wine –depending on how big your pot is, 1 red onion cut in 4, 4 cloves of garlic crushed, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 celery cut in pieces, water up to 2 inches to the top, black peppercorns, and salt. Let it boil lightly for 2-3 hours or three, until the water is about half then what you started with. Drain the broth, set aside until it reaches room temperature, and then freeze. When you need it, you will defrost it.

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