Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tomato and White Bean Soup

Tomato soup and grilled cheese is one of my favorite meals of all time.  This soup is especially good because it uses pureed beans to thicken, which adds protein and creaminess without adding fat.  It is also made from ingredients you might already have in your pantry, so it's easy to pull together for a quick lunch or supper.

The first time I attempted tomato soup at home, it did not go well.  After simmering the ingredients together, I used a blender to puree it in batches.  I didn't let it cool before blending, however, and the steam made the lid lose it's seal.  A couple blending batches in, I filled it a little too full, and that combined with the compromised lid seal led to disaster.  Tomato soup on the ceiling, the cabinets, the floor, and me.  I went out that night and bought an immersion blender.  Best $30 I've ever spent on an appliance.

Tomato and White Bean Soup
recipe from Giada DeLaurentis

2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil, or some combination
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 15 oz. can cannellini, drained and rinsed
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
optional topping - creme fresh and lemon zest

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat.
Saute vegetables for a few minutes, until softened and translucent.

Add in spices, cannellini, crushed tomatoes and broth.  Cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Using either a blender, food processor, or an immersion blender (my strong recommendation), puree soup until thick.  Do not do what I did which was to accidentally blend the bay leaf.

Makes an excellent dipper for toasty cheese sandwiches.  If you're feeling a little fancy, you can add some baby spinach leaves at the end to make a florentine thing.


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