Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chunky Tomato Soup

It's soup season! Well actually...the Northeast is pretty much half way through "soup season," and I unfortunately am coming to the party a little late. As usual. Don't judge me!

I just love taking everyday ingredients, like tomatoes, potatoes, rice and pasta and making something that's tasty, healthy and easy. Soup is a great way to stretch your dollar, and for me as a singleton living alone, one pot provides many wonderful meals throughout the week. I also like that soup is filling, yet satisfying - so it's great for the waistline (as long as you don't load it with butter and cream).

This particular soup can really be steller...however, it does need a tiny bit of tweaking. So if anyone makes this, please let me know your thoughts and what you added to make it yours. There is one major shortcut that I will also make note of!


3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs roma tomatoes*
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 large carton of chicken stock (use Vegetable Stock to make this Vegetarian)
1 can of cannalini beans, drained
3 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve roma tomatoes and place on baking sheet skin side down. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Roast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, peel skin off of tomatoes set aside. *This step can be omitted if you would like...substitute roma tomatoes with 2 large cans of stewed tomatoes.*

In a large stock pot, heat 2 tbsp oil and butter until butter is melted. Add onion and garlic, stirring until onion is translucent. Add reserved roasted tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. Stir until tomato paste melts into liquid. Add paprika and cumin. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until tomatoes fall apart completely. Add drained, but not rinsed, cannalini beans, parsley and cream. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with shaved parmesan cheese and crusty bread for dipping.

I can't even begin to imagine how sweet and robust this soup would be if tomatoes were actually in season right now! I can't wait to try it again in the summer. I also think that fresh basil should be the herb'age of choice since parsley is so mild in flavor. And maybe a little palm-ful of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat. However, even with those issues not addressed the first time, I totally enjoyed this soup. I loved how the starch in the beans slightly thickened the liquid and the addition of the cream added just a tiny bit of sweetness that was to die for.