Our weather is warming up to the mid-80′s this weekend (sorry East Coast), but I’m still in the mood for homemade soup goodness.
There were some big beefsteak tomatoes sitting on my counter, begging to be of good use. It was either going to be used for salsa or tomato soup. Who would’ve thought that tomato soup could be so heartwarming, seem so simple but could also be complex? Although it may not be laden with chunks or bits of meats, poultry and vegetables…it doesn’t mean that those tasty and healthy ingredients aren’t in this soup bowl too. I’ve added some paprika and used a cheese blend for the garnish. It’s a light bodied soup with warming, familiar flavors. Serve it with some crusty French bread or baguette on the side for dipping. No crusty bread in the pantry? Butter or herbed croutons are a fantastic garnish for tomato soup.
I served bowls of this heartwarming soup with some savory Polenta-Herbed Muffins. Also, half a serving of a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich) would work well. Finish off the meal by pairing it with a glass of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Chianti.
- This can easily be turned into a vegetarian friendly soup by using vegetable instead of chicken stock.
- Don’t have French bread or a baguette? Use buttery or flavored croutons to top the soup.
Makes 4-6 Servings
4-6 slices of French bread/baguette, cut about 1-inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 large yellow onion, diced small
4 large cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded & diced (about 6 large beefsteak tomatoes)
4 cups chicken or prepared broth
1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
Parmesan or Cheese mix (Asiago, Pecorino, Parmesan, etc.), grated – for garnish
4-6 whole basil leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, or 3-4 quart soup pot, set heat to medium. Warm the olive oil and then sauté the onions, stirring often until transparent and soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about another 30 seconds to a minute.
Add the prepared tomatoes (see preparation directions towards end) and stock. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the tomatoes have softened, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, Place bread/baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until light brown on both sides, about 10-12 minutes per side. You want the bread to be crispy on the outside, but still give from the middle. Set aside.
Add the basil and using a blender, food processor or handheld blender, purée soup in batches until desired consistency. Return the batches of puréed soup to the soup pot and reheat on low. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve: Ladle soup in bowls, sprinkle with grated cheese mix and serve with crusty bread on the side for dipping. Serve soup immediately.
Peeling and Seeding Tomatoes
Fill a deep pot with water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down. Core the tops of each tomato and score the bottoms in an “X” pattern. Working in even batches, submerge the tomatoes in the pot of hot water for about 30 seconds. Remove promptly with a slotted spoon and peel the skins. Cut the tomatoes crosswise and squeeze the seeds out -OR- use the jagged end of a melon-baller to scoop the seeds out. For this soup, dice the tomatoes.
Have some time to use your slow cooker? This is another recipe I tried last year…it’s worth the time and effort and the flavors are much more intense. It’s sure to be a favorite.
Note to FoodBuzz Foodie Friends:
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