Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels Recipe

The Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels is a hearty and flavorful dish. A traditional Tuscan recipe, this soup combines the freshness of tomatoes, the earthy flavor of mussels, and the comforting taste of toasted bread all in one bowl. It's a perfect recipe for those who enjoy the simple, rustic flavors of Italian cuisine.

Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels Recipe
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The key ingredients for this soup are vine-ripened tomatoes, mussels, and a country loaf. Vine-ripened tomatoes bring a fresh, tangy flavor that sets the stage for the rest of the ingredients. Mussels are the main source of protein in this dish and add a unique, seafood flavor that pairs perfectly with the tomatoes. Finally, a country loaf is a type of bread that is hearty and rustic, perfect for absorbing all the flavors of the soup. If you can't find a country loaf, any crusty bread should work as an alternative.

Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup Ingredients and Steamed Mussels

Olive oil: A staple in Italian cooking, olive oil adds richness and depth to your soup.

Onion: Adds a sweet and savory flavor that balances well with the tomatoes.

Red bell pepper: Provides a pop of color and a slight sweetness to the soup.

Garlic: Gives the dish a strong, aromatic flavor.

Basil: Fresh basil leaves add a peppery, slightly sweet flavor.

Oregano: Brings a pungent herbaceous flavor.

Crushed tomatoes: Act as the base for the soup, providing a rich tomato flavor.

Vine-ripened tomatoes: Add a fresh tomato flavor to the soup.

Chicken broth: Adds a savory element to the soup base.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Sugar: Balances out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Country loaf: Adds texture and absorbs the sauce well.

Black pepper: Adds a little heat to the soup.

Mussels: Brings a unique, seafood flavor that pairs perfectly with the tomatoes.

White wine: Adds acidity and depth of flavor to the soup.

One reader, Amory Pearce says:

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This Tuscan tomato bread soup with steamed mussels recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and comforting, and the mussels add a delightful touch. The combination of fresh ingredients creates a truly authentic and delicious dish. I highly recommend trying this recipe for a taste of Tuscany at home.

Amory Pearce

Techniques Required

Prepare the soup base: This involves sautéing the onion, bell pepper, garlic, basil, and oregano until the onion is golden, then adding the canned and fresh tomatoes, broth, salt, and sugar, and simmering until thick.

Toast the bread: The bread should be toasted in the oven until crisp, about 25 minutes, at 350°F.

Steam the mussels: This involves cooking the mussels with white wine and oil in a covered saucepan over high heat until they open, then discarding any that do not open.

Serve the dish: Mound the bread soup in shallow bowls, surround with the mussels and broth, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with sliced basil before serving.

How To Make Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels

This tomato bread soup is packed with bell peppers and basil cooked in a rich organo-seasoned tomato sauce that captures the delicious Tuscan flavors.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes



  • 6tbspolive oil
  • 1onion
  • 1red bell pepper
  • 6clovesgarlic
  • ¼cupfresh basil,(plus 2 tbsp thin-sliced basil leaves) chopped
  • ½tspdried oregano
  • 2cupscanned crushed tomatoes in thick puree,(from one 28-oz can)
  • lbsvine-ripened tomatoes,(about 4)
  • 1cupcanned low-sodium chicken broth,or homemade stock
  • tspsalt
  • 1pinchsugar
  • ¾lbcountry loaf
  • ¼tspfresh-ground black pepper
  • 2lbsmussels
  • ¼cupdry white wine


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat.

  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chopped basil, and oregano. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion is golden.

  3. Add the canned and fresh tomatoes, the broth, salt, and sugar; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered, until thick.

  4. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 25 minutes until crisp. Remove.

  5. Add the bread and the pepper to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring gently until the bread absorbs all the liquid.

  6. Discard any mussels that have broken shells or that don’t clamp shut when tapped.

  7. Put the wine, mussels, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large stainless-steel saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

  8. Cook for about 3 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally, just until the mussels open. Discard any mussels that do not open.

  9. Mound the bread soup in shallow bowls and surround it with the mussels and broth, leaving any grit in the pan.

  10. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with the sliced basil.


  • Calories: 716.83kcal
  • Fat: 29.23g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.65g
  • Trans Fat: 0.02g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 16.71g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.16g
  • Carbohydrates: 71.71g
  • Fiber: 8.78g
  • Sugar: 16.99g
  • Protein: 41.55g
  • Cholesterol: 63.50mg
  • Sodium: 1713.68mg
  • Calcium: 254.43mg
  • Potassium: 1763.93mg
  • Iron: 14.55mg
  • Vitamin A: 232.53µg
  • Vitamin C: 90.85mg

Technique Tip Related to Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels

When preparing the mussels, ensure they are fresh by checking if the shells are tightly closed. If they are slightly open, give them a gentle tap. If they close, they are still alive and good to use. If they remain open, discard them as they are likely dead and could potentially spoil the dish. Also, remember to discard any mussels that do not open after cooking. This is because closed mussels post-cooking could be an indication that they were dead before cooking and are not safe to consume.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels

Prep ahead: Chop and measure all ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Multitask: While the soup is simmering, toast the bread and steam the mussels to save time.

Use canned tomatoes: Opt for canned crushed tomatoes to skip the step of peeling and chopping fresh tomatoes.

Quality ingredients: Invest in high-quality, flavorful ingredients to enhance the overall taste of the dish.

Organize your workspace: Keep your cooking area organized and clean to work efficiently.

Substitute Ingredients For Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels Recipe

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable replacement for olive oil in this recipe.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, adding a delicate taste to the soup.

  • red bell pepper - Substitute with yellow bell pepper: Yellow bell peppers have a slightly sweeter flavor and can provide a vibrant color to the soup.

  • garlic - Substitute with roasted garlic: Roasted garlic offers a milder, slightly sweet flavor that complements the soup's taste without being overpowering.

  • fresh basil - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can provide a similar herbaceous flavor and bright green color to the soup.

  • dried oregano - Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can add a warm, earthy flavor that complements the tomatoes and mussels in the soup.

  • canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree - Substitute with fresh tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes can be used to create a chunkier texture and add a bright, fresh flavor to the soup.

  • vine-ripened tomatoes - Substitute with plum tomatoes: Plum tomatoes have a firm texture and rich flavor, making them a suitable substitute for vine-ripened tomatoes in the soup.

  • canned low-sodium chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can provide a savory base and enhance the flavors of the soup while keeping it vegetarian-friendly.

  • country loaf - Substitute with ciabatta bread: Ciabatta bread has a similar rustic texture and can absorb the soup's flavors while maintaining a hearty bite.

  • fresh-ground black pepper - Substitute with crushed red pepper flakes: Crushed red pepper flakes can add a subtle heat and depth of flavor to the soup.

  • mussels - Substitute with clams: Clams can provide a similar briny and sweet flavor, complementing the soup's broth and adding a delightful seafood element.

  • dry white wine - Substitute with chicken or vegetable broth: Chicken or vegetable broth can add depth and flavor to the soup without the use of alcohol.

Elevate Your Dining Experience with This Stunning Presentation

  1. Elevate the bread: Toast the country loaf until it is perfectly crisp and golden, adding a delightful crunch to the dish.
  2. Artful arrangement of mussels: Carefully arrange the steamed mussels around the bread soup, ensuring each mussel is showcased beautifully.
  3. Garnish with fresh basil: Sprinkle the dish with freshly sliced basil to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil: Finish the dish with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil to enhance the flavors and add a luxurious touch.
  5. Use elegant shallow bowls: Present the Tuscan tomato bread soup with steamed mussels in elegant shallow bowls, allowing the vibrant colors and textures to shine.
  6. Attention to detail: Ensure each mussel is cleaned and presented impeccably, showcasing the care and precision in the preparation.
  7. Balance of flavors: Pay close attention to the seasoning, ensuring the perfect balance of salt, pepper, and other spices to elevate the overall taste experience.
  8. Wine pairing suggestion: Accompany the dish with a recommended wine from Tuscany, such as a rosso di Montalcino, to complement the flavors and enhance the dining experience.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Crafting the Perfect Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup

  • Large saucepan: A large, deep cooking pot used for making soups, stews, and sauces.

  • Baking sheet: A flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking and toasting foods in the oven.

  • Stainless-steel saucepan: A small, deep cooking pot made of stainless steel, suitable for boiling, simmering, and making sauces.

  • Knife: A sharp tool used for cutting and chopping ingredients.

  • Cutting board: A flat board used for cutting and preparing ingredients.

  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for slicing, chopping, and pureeing ingredients.

  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for mixing and combining ingredients.

  • Baking sheet: A flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking and toasting foods in the oven.

  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and toasting food items.

  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pot with a handle and a lid, used for cooking sauces, soups, and boiling liquids.

  • Bowl: A round, deep dish used for holding and serving food.

  • Spoon: A utensil with a handle and a shallow bowl-shaped container, used for stirring and serving food.

  • Baking sheet: A flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking and toasting foods in the oven.

How To Store / Freeze Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels

  • Let the tuscan tomato bread soup cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container or freezer-safe bags.
  • If using freezer bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy identification.
  • Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To freeze the soup, place the airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • When ready to serve, thaw the frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat the soup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • Note: It's best to store the steamed mussels separately from the soup, as they may become rubbery when reheated.
  • To store the mussels, remove them from their shells and place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.
  • Reheat the mussels gently in a pan with a small amount of olive oil or butter until warmed through.
  • Serve the reheated soup in bowls and top with the warmed mussels.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

How To Reheat Leftovers

  • Reheat the tuscan tomato bread soup in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. Be careful not to let the soup boil, as this may cause the bread to break down and become mushy.
  • If the soup has thickened too much during storage, add a small amount of chicken broth or water to thin it out to your preferred consistency.
  • For the steamed mussels, remove them from their shells and place them in a separate saucepan. Add a splash of white wine or water, cover the pan, and heat over medium-low heat until the mussels are warmed through. This should only take a few minutes, as overheating the mussels can cause them to become tough and rubbery.
  • Alternatively, you can steam the mussels in their shells again. Place them in a steamer basket over a pot of simmering water, cover, and steam for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Discard any mussels that do not open during the reheating process.
  • Once the soup and mussels are heated, ladle the soup into bowls and arrange the mussels on top. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and garnish with fresh basil leaves for a fresh, vibrant flavor.
  • If you find that the bread in the soup has become too soft for your liking, you can add some freshly toasted bread cubes on top for a contrasting texture.
  • To reheat the soup and mussels in the microwave, place the soup in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until heated through. Reheat the mussels separately in a covered microwave-safe dish for 30-60 seconds, or until warm.

Random Fact about This Recipe:

The Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures, showcasing the rich culinary heritage of Tuscany. This dish beautifully marries the sweetness of tomatoes with the briny essence of mussels, creating a harmonious and satisfying meal. The use of fresh basil and oregano adds a fragrant and aromatic dimension to the soup, enhancing its overall appeal. The dish's versatility allows for various wine pairings, making it an ideal choice for a cozy dinner. This recipe is a testament to the art of Italian cooking, celebrating the region's vibrant culinary traditions.

Is Preparing Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup at Home Cost-Effective?

This Tuscan tomato bread soup with steamed mussels recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The use of simple, readily available ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and bread keeps the cost manageable. The addition of mussels may increase the overall cost slightly, but it's balanced by the economical nature of the other ingredients. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $25-$30. Overall Verdict: 8/10

Is This Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels Healthy?

The Tuscan tomato bread soup with steamed mussels recipe is a relatively healthy dish, offering a balance of nutrients from various ingredients. The recipe includes a good amount of vegetables, such as tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and garlic, which provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The mussels are a lean protein source, low in calories and rich in essential nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, the recipe also contains a significant amount of bread, which can contribute to a higher carbohydrate and calorie content, especially if consumed in large portions.

To make this recipe even healthier:

  • Opt for whole grain bread instead of white bread to increase the fiber content and provide more complex carbohydrates
  • Reduce the amount of bread used in the recipe to lower the overall calorie and carbohydrate content
  • Use low-sodium chicken broth to decrease the salt content of the dish
  • Increase the proportion of vegetables, such as adding more tomatoes, onions, or other nutrient-dense vegetables like spinach or zucchini
  • Use a lean protein source, such as chicken or shrimp, as an alternative to mussels for those who may not prefer them
  • Limit the amount of added salt and oil to reduce the sodium and fat content of the dish

Editor's Opinion: A Delightful Fusion of Flavors

The Tuscan tomato bread soup with steamed mussels recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of fresh tomatoes, aromatic herbs, and crusty bread creates a rich and hearty soup base, while the addition of steamed mussels adds a delightful brininess and a touch of elegance. The use of regional ingredients and the careful layering of flavors showcase the essence of Tuscan cuisine. The suggested wine pairing further enhances the dining experience, making this recipe a true celebration of Tuscan flavors. Buon appetito!

Enhance Your Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli: Roasted broccoli with a crispy garlic parmesan crust, perfect for dipping into the tomato bread soup.
Honey Glazed Carrots with Thyme: Sweet and tender honey glazed carrots with a hint of thyme, a delightful contrast to the savory flavors of the soup.
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Juicy and flavorful grilled chicken marinated in a zesty lemon herb sauce, a satisfying protein option to pair with the Tuscan tomato bread soup.
Mixed Berry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette: A refreshing and tangy mixed berry salad drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette, providing a light and fruity accompaniment to the hearty soup.
Chocolate Tiramisu: Indulge in a decadent chocolate tiramisu for a rich and creamy dessert to finish off the meal.

Discover Similar Recipes to Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta: This creamy and indulgent pasta dish is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of tender chicken and rich alfredo sauce will leave you wanting more.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers: These colorful and flavorful vegetable skewers are perfect for a summer barbecue. The charred veggies are a delicious and healthy option for any gathering.
Mango Coconut Rice Pudding: This tropical twist on a classic dessert is a refreshing and sweet treat. The combination of creamy coconut and juicy mango will transport you to a sunny paradise.

Appetizers and Desserts to Elevate Your Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup Experience

Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a delicious blend of cheeses, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil: Transport your taste buds to Italy with this classic bruschetta, featuring ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze on crispy, toasted bread. A refreshing and vibrant start to any gathering.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in the rich and decadent flavors of this warm, gooey dessert. The contrast between the molten chocolate center and the tender cake exterior is sure to impress your guests.
Tiramisu: Transport yourself to Italy with this classic dessert. Layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and creamy mascarpone cheese create a luscious and satisfying treat.

Why trust this Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful taste of Tuscany, with fresh tomatoes and aromatic basil infusing the soup with rich flavors. The addition of mussels steamed in white wine adds a touch of elegance and depth to the dish. The use of crushed tomatoes and vine-ripened tomatoes ensures a vibrant and authentic taste. The careful selection of ingredients such as garlic, onion, and bell pepper promises a harmonious blend of flavors. Trust in the traditional Tuscan elements and the expertise behind this recipe for a truly satisfying dining experience.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with Steamed Mussels recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum. Join the conversation and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make this dish even better!
Can I use fresh mussels instead of canned mussels?
Yes, you can absolutely use fresh mussels instead of canned mussels. Just make sure to clean and debeard the fresh mussels before using them in the recipe. Simply steam the fresh mussels in white wine until they open, then proceed with the recipe as directed.
Can I use a different type of bread for the soup?
Certainly! While the recipe calls for a country loaf, you can use any rustic bread or even a baguette for the soup. The key is to use a bread that can hold its texture when added to the soup, providing a hearty and satisfying bite.
Can I substitute the wine with something non-alcoholic?
If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute it with an equal amount of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. The wine adds a depth of flavor, but the soup will still be delicious without it.
Can I make this soup ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the soup ahead of time. In fact, the flavors often develop even more if the soup is made a day in advance. Simply store it in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.
Can I freeze the soup?
While the soup can be frozen, the texture of the bread and tomatoes may change slightly upon thawing. It's best enjoyed fresh, but if you do decide to freeze it, make sure to cool it completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Thaw and reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.

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