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Italian Bread Soup Recipe (Johnny Carino’s Copy Cat)

Italian Bread Soup Recipe (Johnny Carino’s Copy Cat)

Looking for the Italian Bread Soup recipe from Johnny Carino’s Italian Recipe? This is as close as I can get to that amazing delicious soup.

Italian Bread Soup


  • 4 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1.5 cups sweet onions (finely diced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 1lb stale bread cubes (from Italian rustic bread)
  • 28oz whole canned tomatoes (Cento San Marzano (28 oz can))
  • 14oz crushed tomatoes (Cento San Marzano (14-16 oz can))
  • 3 large tomatoes (diced)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to drizzle on finished soup, if desired)
  • fresh basil (thinly sliced to place on finished soup, if desired)
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese (shredded to place on finished soup, if desired)


Step 1
In a large stock pot, sauté onions, garlic, and oregano for one minute on high heat. Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes.
Step 2
Increase to high heat and add the bread cubes. Cook, toasting the bread with the onion mixture, for a minute.
Step 3
Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, covered, stirring frequently for 30 minutes.
Step 4
Add the chopped basil and continue cooking on low simmer, stirring frequently for another 30 minutes.
Step 5
Use an immersion blender, if desired, to partially blend the soup. You still want some chunkiness, but it's best to get the whole tomatoes broken up a little more and some of the bread to be mashed into the soup.
Step 6
Serve hot. You can drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive oil, sliced basil and shredded cheese if desired. We used a mixture of Romano and Mizithra cheeses.

I’ve been looking for this recipe for probably 15 or more years. I used to go to Johnny Carino’s just for this soup. It was incredible. I have tried other recipes in the past, and none came even close.

I was talking with my Dad when we had this delicious Italin bread that was going stale about how I loved this bread soup at Johnny Carino’s. He said, I’m sure “Nick Stallino’s” cook book will have it. Sure enough, there was a great recipe in there. It is called “Pappa al Pomodoro”.

I have slightly adapted the recipe. The main adaption was adding the sugar. Most of the tomatoes we get here in California are a little too acidic. The sugar is needed to cut that acidity.

But let me say, this is the closest I’ve come to recreating the soup served there. So so good. Enjoy!

Italian Bread Soup Recipe by Dish Ditty Recipes
Italian Bread Soup Recipe by Dish Ditty Recipes

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