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  • Sheryl Ness

Grandpa Camillo's Secret Recipe: Potato, Tomato and Bread Soup



Vincenzo has been talking about his grandpa Camillo's "breakfast soup" for years. He has fond memories of stopping into his grandpa's house before school and having a second or third breakfast with his grandfather. His grandfather was a farmer who needed to eat hearty before a long day working in the fields or tending to the animals.


This recipe was never written down, and remained a bit of a secret (and legend) within the family. To recreate this recipe, he talked with his mom and they discussed how it was likely made. One of the positive aspects about sheltering at home these days is having the time to research and make these family recipes and capture them for the future. I can imagine many of you have similar memories and stories to tell. We'd love to hear from you. In the meantime, try this recipe. It's simple and very easy, with most items available in your pantry or easy to access in these days of staying home.


We both wish you all well, and happy cooking!


Nonno Camillo’s Zuppetta di patate con salsa pomodoro e pane raffermo

Grandpa Camillo’s Potato and Tomato Soup with Bread

Chef Vincenzo Giangiordano


2 Tbsp. olive oil

½ small yellow onion (chopped fine)

2 stalks of celery (chopped fine)

3 medium potatoes (thick cut – about ¼ inch)

Salt (to taste)

3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley (chopped)

1 can (28 ounces) whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes (break up the tomatoes with your hands)

4-6 slices of stale or toasted bread

Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oil, onions and celery and sauté for 1 minute. Next, add the sliced potatoes (in two layers) over the onions and celery, sprinkle the potatoes with salt. Add the water over the potatoes. Cover the potatoes with the tomato mixture. Add the fresh parsley and cover. Simmer over medium high heat for 40 minutes.


After 40 minutes, check to make sure the potatoes are cooked by testing them with a fork. They should be tender and break easy.



Spoon the tomato and potato mixture over 2 slices of toasted or stale bread in a medium soup bowl.

Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.



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