Recipe: Tuscan Tomato Soup

Dinner Recipes, Soups + Stew Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

By: Deborah Murphy, MS, RD, LDN

As the temperatures start to drop, we start craving soup. This healthy tuscan tomato soup recipe is a favorite since it is super simple to make with a few pantry staples like canned tomatoes, chickpeas, and day-old bread.

Our take on a Tuscan tomato soup (also known as pappa al pomodoro) adds chickpeas for extra plant-based protein and texture. If you are looking for a delicious but healthy homemade tomato soup that is thick and creamy without the need for heavy cream – you’ll love our Tuscan tomato bread soup. 

We were honestly so shocked by the creaminess of this soup because it tastes like it has cream, but it is actually dairy-free. Blending half of the soup in a blender and adding the bread to the soup base creates a creamy texture without any heavy cream.


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    What is Tuscan Tomato Soup? (Pappa al Pomodoro)?

    Pappa al Pomodoro is a tomato soup thickened with day-old bread instead of milk or heavy cream that originated in the Tuscany region of Italy. This healthy soup is often made with simple ingredients like fresh tomatoes, bread, olive oil, and basil. Since good fresh tomatoes aren’t always available, our version uses canned tomatoes.

    Ingredients You’ll Need

    • Canned Tomatoes: we recommend using a higher quality canned tomato like San Marzano tomatoes if you can since they add so much flavor to this simple soup. We prefer whole, peeled tomatoes. 
    • Onion, Garlic and Carrot: this combo of veggies adds tons of flavor to this soup. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can substitute with 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. 
    • Broth: use a flavorful broth for best results. Use vegetable broth for a vegan version of this soup or else you can use chicken stock. For those that need to limit their sodium intake, use a low sodium broth. 
    • Chickpeas: add some plant-based protein and texture to this simple soup by tossing in a can of drained chickpeas. If you don’t have chickpeas, you can substitute with white beans or butter beans. 
    • Basil: fresh basil is a perfect pairing with tomatoes. We use fresh basil but you can also use dried basil – we recommend adding about 1 teaspoon dried basil. If you don’t have basil, you can also use a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. 
    • Bread: cube up day-old or stale bread to thicken this soup. We used a sourdough loaf, but any soft white bread will also work well for this Tuscan soup recipe. You just want to avoid using a whole grain or seedy loaf as the grains and seeds do not break down into the soup.

    How to Make Tuscan Tomato Soup

    top view of four steps in tuscan tomato soup recipe process on white counter top
    • Saute the Onion and Carrot: start by adding olive oil, diced carrots, and onion to a large dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-high heat. Saute until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. 
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    • Simmer with the Other Ingredients: Meanwhile, add the canned tomatoes to a large bowl and crush them by hand. Add them to the pot with broth, chickpeas, and basil. Simmer and then add the day-old bread. Simmer until the bread is softened. 
    • Blend Half: add ½ of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup). Stir back into the rest of the soup. Serve with parmesan cheese, olive oil, and more fresh basil leaves.
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    Is Tuscan Tomato Basil Soup Healthy?

    Yes! This healthy tomato basil soup recipe is made without heavy cream but is instead thickened with bread which reduces the total calories. Tomatoes are a good source of several essential nutrients like vitamin C which supports a healthy immune system and potassium, an electrolyte, which is beneficial for blood pressure regulation. 

    The red color of tomatoes comes from a red pigment and antioxidant called lycopene. Processed tomatoes (like canned tomatoes) are much higher in lycopene than fresh tomatoes. Those who eat more lycopene rich foods may have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

    How Many Calories in Tomato Soup?

    This healthy tomato soup recipe has about 175 calories per serving. Traditional canned Campbell’s tomato soup has only 90 calories per serving. Our version of tomato soup is a little higher in calories since it also has chickpeas which bumps up the protein and fiber content.

    Can You Make Tomato Soup with Canned Tomatoes?

    Yes! We love making tomato soup using canned tomatoes because you can make it anytime of the year, not just the summer when tomatoes are at their best.

    two bowls of tuscan tomato soup with garnishes on white counter background

    Make Ahead and Storage

    If you like to meal prep or make ahead of time, you can just prepare the soup as directed then allow it to cool to room temperature for storage. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in a pot on the stove. Individual servings can be reheated in the microwave.

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    More Soup Recipes You’ll Love

    If you are looking for more tomato based soups, here are a few of our favorites: detox vegetable soup, hamburger soup, or this hearty white bean soup. We also rounded up 14 fall soups that everyone will love that are also hearty and delicious.

    Total Time: 40 minutes

    Yield: 8 serving(s)


    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 2 large raw carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 3 cloves raw garlic, minced
    • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano)
    • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
    • 1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
    • 10 basil leaves, chopped fine
    • 1 ½ cups day old bread, cubed or torn into pieces
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and ground black pepper


    1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
    2. In a separate bowl, crush tomatoes by hand. Add them to the pot with salt and pepper. Partially cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.
    3. Add the broth, chickpeas, and basil. Bring back to a simmer for another 10 minutes.
    4. Add the bread cubes; simmer for another 10 minutes until the bread is soft. You can use a potato masher to break down the bread if needed. Add sea salt and black pepper.
    5. Add ½ of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth (make sure to leave the lid ajar for venting out the steam). Add back to the pot and stir to combine.
    6. Serve with parmesan cheese, extra olive oil, a dollop of heavy cream (optional), and more fresh basil.

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Calories: 175

    Protein: 7 gram(s)

    Fat: 5 gram(s)

    Carbohydrates: 26 gram(s)

    Fiber: 6 gram(s)

    Sugar: 7 gram(s)

    Recipe Cuisine: American

    From the kitchen of:

    Rate this Recipe

    1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (55 votes, average: 3.53 out of 5)


    on Reply

    Can you make this with canned tomatoes?

      on Reply


    on Reply

    It sounds nice. Not that it bothers me but obviously chicken stock means it is not a vegetarian recipe ; just saying ;0....Living in Europe, I am never quite sure what measure is a cup?

      on Reply

      Hi Mary - yes, we added vegetable stock as an options to keep it vegetarian - thanks :) And one cup is 8 oz. Hope that helps!

    on Reply

    I make this soup often...It's so delicious, healthy, wholesome and filling. Chickpeas, tomato, and kale go together so well. Thanks again for the recipe!

    on Reply

    And a serving size is?? 1 cup? (8oz)? And can you verify the fat preserving for fitness Pal users? Thanks!

      on Reply

      Hi Susan! This recipe makes 6 bowls of soup and the fat per serving is 14 g. Hope this helps!

    on Reply

    This soup was wonderful! I will definitely be making it again. Very good!

      on Reply

      So glad you enjoyed it, Leah!

    on Reply

    Hi Emilie, We are so happy you enjoyed this recipe it is one of our favorites! So rich and delicious, no that was an error. This recipe has only 14 grams of fat per serving. Enjoy!!

      on Reply

      Thanks! Can't wait to make it again.

    on Reply

    This soup was fantastic! Is it really 52 grams of fat per serving? I may have cut that by using chicken bouillon and fat free milk. Really good recipe.

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